PLYMOUTH - A local woman was sentenced to probation on Tuesday after she was convicted of having marijuana and PCP in her system while driving with a young child who was not wearing a seatbelt.
Candice Anderson, 32, of 291 Main St., pleaded guilty to charges of first-degree reckless endangerment and driving under the influence. The pleas were entered under the Alford doctrine during a hearing in Bristol Superior Court.
An Alford plea means Anderson may not agree with all the allegations, but believes she would likely be convicted after a trial.
Anderson, whose pleas were part of a deal offered by state prosecutors, was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended, and 18 months of probation. In exchange for the pleas, charges of risk of injury to a child, failure to have a child between 7 and 15 years old wear a seatbelt and operating while using a handheld mobile device were not pursued.
According to court officials, Anderson was driving on Main Street on Dec. 23 when a police officer saw her using a cell phone. She was then pulled over.
According to the prosecutor, Ronald Dearstyne, Anderson appeared under the influence of something, as she slurred her words and was very confused. She failed multiple field sobriety tests before she took a breathalyzer, which showed that she had no alcohol in her system. Anderson then gave a urine sample, which later tested positive for PCP and marijuana, Dearstyne said.
Inside the car, according to the prosecutor, Anderson had a 9-year-old child who was not wearing a seatbelt.
“Fortunately no one was hurt,” Dearstyne said.
During the hearing, another case of Anderson’s, which involved “similar behavior,” was dismissed after she completed the Alcohol Education Program, the prosecutor said. Given that Anderson has a previous operating under the influence conviction, Dearstyne said she has been given “substantial breaks” in that he did not object to the previous arrest being dismissed or seek prison time in the plea bargain. He added that there were a few issues prosecutors would have to contend with regarding proof if the case had gone to trial.
During probation, Anderson has been ordered to complete 100 hours of community service and to undergo random drug tests. One test positive for illegal drugs will result in a violation of probation charge, a judge warned her.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.