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Magistrate: Attorney rejects plea agreement

January 08, 2003|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Martinsburg attorney Terrance L. Britt has rejected a no-contest plea agreement for a driving while under the influence of alcohol charge that was filed against him Sept. 5, 2001, a Berkeley County magistrate said Tuesday.

Britt had until Monday to decide whether he wanted to accept the plea agreement, Magistrate Joan Bragg said.

Under the no-contest plea, Britt would be assessed a $200 fine, $175 in court costs and be given 24 hours in jail, Bragg said.

The plea agreement would have been for first offense DUI, which carries a possible fine of up to $500 and up to six months in jail, Bragg said.

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Bragg's office was informed Tuesday by Britt's attorney that Britt would not accept the plea agreement, Bragg said.

There are a couple of avenues that the case could take, including a jury trial, Bragg said.

The driving while under the influence charge stems from an incident in which Britt was sitting in a car in the Sheetz parking lot on Apple Harvest Drive, according to a criminal complaint. Cpl. R.L. Gardner of the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department responded to a call of an intoxicated man there, according to the complaint.

Gardner alleged in the complaint that he noticed an odor of alcohol on Britt's breath when he asked Britt to get out of the car.

He refused a few times to get out and at one point took out a pad and paper and asked the deputy his name, the complaint alleges.

Twice, Gardner took the pen and paper away and threw them on the floor of the vehicle, the complaint says.

Britt complied when Gardner grabbed his arm and helped him out of the car, according to the complaint.

The complaint also alleges that when Britt moved toward Gardner outside the car, Gardner pushed Britt away, then turned him around and handcuffed him.

Britt was taken to the Martinsburg police station, where he refused to take a breath test, the complaint alleges.

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