90 days sentence A 60-year-old man who pled guilty to refusing to submit to a chemical test (second offense) had asked for the sentence to be deferred for three to four weeks so he could complete farm work and make money to pay his bills.
James M. Clark of Hastings, Nebraska pled guilty to the Class I Misdemeanor this past July. The refusal incident occurred in June of 2012. Clark’s attorney said Clark had been in an accident and was in the hospital with injuries when law enforcement approached him about a blood draw and he refused. Julie Bear said taking a plea deal was the best option for her client rather than risk trying to prove innocence to the original charge of refusal to submit to chemical test (third offense) which is a Class IIIA Felony.
The plea agreement contained the 90 day jail sentence recommendation along with a five year license suspension.
At the sentencing hearing this week, Bear asked that the jail sentence be delayed because Clark had three to four weeks in which he could do farm work. Cass County District Court Judge Jeffrey Funke said he thinks sentences should begin on the sentencing date. The judge then conversed directly with Clark.
Clark said going to jail right away would impact his financial situation which had been improving. “I really need that time your honor.”
Funke said he counted eight alcohol-related incidents on Clark’s record and said the use of alcohol and failure to obey the law probably were contributing factors in Clark’s financial difficulties. “Because I have concerns about the safety of society, you will start the sentence now sir,” said Funke.
A $1000 fine was also imposed.