A judge Friday sentenced an attorney known locally for handling high-profile criminal cases to three years of probation following his drunken-driving plea earlier this year.
“Thank you for the second chance you’re giving me,” Michael DerGarabedian, 54, of Old Brookville, told Nassau District Court Judge Eric Bjorneby in Hempstead.
Nassau police arrested DerGarabedian on Dec. 2 in his hometown. He had faced misdemeanor charges of driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, reckless endangerment and a motor vehicle infraction before admitting to the DWI charge in March.
Police said they arrested DerGarabedian after he wouldn’t take a breath-alcohol test during a traffic stop. They said an officer pulled over his 2015 BMW X5 after a caller reported at about 8:40 p.m. that a black vehicle of that make had almost hit a pole, a pedestrian, signs and several vehicles.
Police said DerGarabedian stopped momentarily when an officer tried to pull him over, but then kept going before stopping again. Authorities said he had slurred speech, was unsteady on his feet and his breath smelled slightly of alcohol.
A woman whom police identified at the time as DerGarabedian’s wife pulled up separately and yelled at the attorney, telling police “he drives drunk all the time.”
Assistant District Attorney Everett Witherell told the judge Friday his office was seeking a sentence of 30 days in jail and three years of probation, and that DerGarabedian had a 2007 conviction for driving while impaired by alcohol. But defense attorney Nicholas Marino of Rockville Centre said his client was a member of the legal bar and a father of five who had shown “full remorse for his actions,” and asked the judge to stick to a prior sentencing commitment of probation — the terms of which will include a driver’s license revocation.