Can a judge impose punishment before a conviction?

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Can a judge impose punishment before a conviction?

My son was falsely accused of domestic violence. His jury trial is set for December. In the interim, the judge has ordered him to take anger management and substance abuse classes. Substance abuse was never an issue, however, he was told it goes hand in hand with domestic abuse. These classes are unaffordable. Can the judge impose a punishment before he has a day in court or a conviction?

Asked on November 10, 2010 under Criminal Law, New York

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Of course punishment can not be imposed before you are convicted.  But are you sure that this order is not contingent upon his taking a lesser plea?  In other words, did his attorney agree to have him plead to a lesser charge and as a result of that plea take these courses were ordered?  It is done all the time in DUI?DWI cases in New York.  If this was not the case then he has a right to refuse the order, but I would have his attorney do it tactfully. Judges who do order this type of thing generally feel very empowered, so to speak, to do as they wish to resolve cases in their courts.  Good luck.


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