Prosecutors: DUI driver accused of hitting Javier Perez may delay plea deal

MIAMI (WSVN) - After he was gravely injured by a DUI driver, beloved South Florida principal Javier Perez is now preparing himself in the event that his justice may be delayed.

7News has closely followed the story of Javier Perez and his road to recovery. However, in all of his interviews, he would very rarely mention the woman accused of driving the car that hit him, Marilyn Aguilera.

Police said Aguilera was drunk when she plowed into him.

Perez wanted to move on with his recovery and his life. But now, there are concerns if that is possible. “That hasn’t been our focus at all. That’s something for the law to handle,” Perez said.

Perez originally agreed to a plea deal, which was going to be offered by the state next Friday.

That deal had stated, “The plea offer which was approved by the victim is 4 years in prison, followed by 1 year of community control, followed by 5 years of probation. She will have a permanent license revocation and will have many conditions attached to probation such as a scram bracelet (detects that you have been drinking) and rehab for drug or alcohol abuse.”

The state guideline on DUIs involving serious injuries are typically seven years. 7News legal analyst Howard Finkelstein said when it is under seven years, it is because the victim wants closure.

“Probably the biggest extenuating circumstance is the wishes of the victim,” Finkelstein said. “In this case, the victim wanted closure. This gave incentive to the state to give a lower plea bargain and get it behind him.”

But now, 7News has learned the state is concerned this plea deal is in jeopardy. A hearing is set for Monday where the state thinks Aguilera’s new attorney will delay the sentencing.

“While it does happen, it is not common, and in fact, it is rare that you would change lawyers after you accepted a plea bargain,” Finkelstein said.

The new attorney for Aguilera says Monday’s hearing is simply about announcing the new representation. She says no decision has been made on a delay. The state thinks otherwise. Ultimately, the judge will make the decision

“The judge can insist that you either accept the plea today, or that plea will be taken off the table,” Finkelstein said.

7News contacted Perez by phone. He is hopeful the plea deal will go through. However, he is aware of the state’s concerns. He is preparing himself for a delay tactic and is praying there will be closure.

7News will be in court Monday.

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