NY Judge Arrested for DUI Non-Appearance, Shows 'Air of Arrogance'

By William Vogeler, Esq. on June 07, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

What's wrong with this picture?

Literally, take a look at this video of Judge Leticia Astacio being led through the courthouse in handcuffs. The judicial procession was captured at the Monroe County Hall of Justice, where police and reporters were waiting for her.

If you didn't notice, the judge is smiling. That's unusual for a judge anytime, but unprecedented for one in handcuffs!

No Joke, Judge

Astacio was arrested for failing to appear at a mandatory meeting in her drunk-driving case. The judge was convicted of DUI last year, and pleaded guilty to violating her probation twice.

The non-appearance was like a third strike, so she was sent to the jailhouse dugout to wait for her next day in court. Judge Stephen Aronson, who is presiding over her case, then offered her 45 days in jail, six months on an ankle monitor, and two years probation after she failed to comply with previous court orders.

Astacio claimed that she was in Thailand with monks in a temple at the time, and declined the offer. Aronson said she was not taking her case seriously.

"You are self-sabotaging any chance you have to return to the bench," he said. "To me, your actions are showing almost an air of arrogance."

Former DUI Prosecutor

A former prosecutor in the Driving While Intoxicated Bureau of the Monroe County District Attorney's Office, Astacio was arrested for DUI in February 2016 as she was driving to court. New York state troopers found her in her smashed SUV -- smashed.

As part of her sentence, she was ordered to receive treatment and her vehicle was fitted with an interlock ignition device. She later admitted violating those conditions, and they were extended for six months.

After she was arrested at the courthouse for missing a mandatory appearance, she appeared unfazed. Her attorney said she was smiling as a nervous reaction.

"We're all different," he told reporters. "We all deal with stress in various ways."

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