Defendant in Newark Police Data Breach Likely to Avoid Prison
In Part One of this blog series, we learned about the arrests of two former officers with the Newark Police Department: police captain Anthony Buono and police officer Dino D’Elia. Buono and D’Elia were arrested and charged with illegally accessing a law enforcement database to steal insurance information. The two suspects then allegedly sold the stolen information to individuals and companies for a profit. After an investigation by internal affairs detectives, both Buono and D’Elia were suspended from their jobs and charges with felonies for computer theft and conspiracy.
Earlier in 2017, D’Elia reached a plea agreement with Essex County prosecutors and pleaded guilty to the charges for computer theft. Buono later reached a similar plea deal with the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. Buono recently appeared in the Essex County Superior Court in Newark and admitted to his role in the computer data breach. Buono formally pleaded guilty to one count of computer theft. Superior Court Judge Michael Ravin accepted the guilty plea and will officially sentence Buono on January 8, 2018. It is expected that Buono will be placed on probation and avoid prison time. However, he will be required to surrender his job with the Newark police force and will also be prohibited from maintaining public employment in NJ.
Avoiding Trial & Plea Agreements in Essex County, New Jersey
If Buono had fought the charges and gone to trial, the consequences could have been much worse. Buono initially faced second degree felony charges, which meant that a conviction would have resulted in a potential prison sentence of 10 years in NJ State Prison. Of course, most New Jersey criminal cases are resolved before trial. When a defendant is guilty, they typically don’t want to risk a conviction – so, they plead guilty to a lesser offense. When a defendant is not guilty, an aggressive criminal defense attorney may be able to get the case resolved through pre-trial proceedings by convincing prosecutors to reduce or drop the charges.
Anyone charged with a felony in Newark needs to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer to handle their case. The reality is that prosecutors are more willing to discuss a criminal case with a defense lawyer. Moreover, a qualified attorney can ensure that you do not get pressured into accepting a bad plea deal that leaves you with a criminal record.
Contact Newark Criminal Defense Lawyer Travis Tormey to Discuss Your Case and Start Building Your Defense
If you were arrested for a criminal offense, such as theft, fraud, or conspiracy, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side. A conviction for a felony in Essex County, NJ could result in significant penalties that include prison, probation, and/or fines. Newark criminal defense attorney Travis Tormey and his legal team at the Tormey Law Firm have helped countless clients in Essex County avoid severe penalties in criminal cases. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation about your case.