SCHODACK, N.Y. — David Cassidy entered a guilty plea for drunk driving in Schodack Town Court on Wednesday.
Cassidy was supposed to go before a judge in July for his August 2013 DWI arrest but was instead seen judging a bocce ball contest at the Saratoga Race Course.
NYRA tweeted a photo of Cassidy, which adjourned the DWI case.
Cassidy's lawyer said the picture wasn't the reason for the case being adjourned and that Cassidy was allowed to travel at the time.
Cassidy pleaded guilty as part of a plea deal with the Rensselaer County District Attorney’s Office. As a result of the guilty plea, Cassidy’s charge was downgraded from a felony to a misdemeanor.
Cassidy was all business in court, but his personality took over once he stepped out of the courtroom.
“I’m happy with the outcome,” he said. “I’m not going to prison. That’s a good thing.”
Cassidy was grinning from ear-to-ear and accepting of his responsibility for driving drunk in 2013. He also admitted to his struggle as an alcoholic.
“Yeah, I am,” he said. “But I’m also in recovery, and I’m doing really well.”
Cassidy was arrested for DUI in Florida in 2010. In January, he was charged with DUI in Los Angeles where police said his blood alcohol content was twice the legal limit.
Rensselaer County ADA Michael Shanley said Cassidy will now have a Breathalyzer installed on his cars and will have to do 50 hours of community service.
“He’s accepted responsibility for the offense that he committed in New York – Driving While Intoxicated,” he said. “He’s got to actually appear and spend the time.”
Cassidy said it’s a needed wake up call.
“I’m a guy who was in denial for many years about my alcoholism,” he said.
He said his experience has damaged his reputation and cost him work.
“This has hurt me a lot, though, honestly,” he said. “This has created a big problem for people who have the assumption that I’m a drunk.”
He said the process has been trying, but he still plans to visit the Capital Region – and maybe run for office one day.
“I love this part of New York,” he said. “It’s been really my second home. I’d love to run for the mayor of Saratoga.”
The plea deal doesn’t end the court process, however. The judge ordered Cassidy to go through a pre-sentencing hearing where probation officers will have to put together a report and make a recommendation to the court about Cassidy’s sentencing. That process could be completed over the phone.
A sentencing date has been set for November 5.