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‘70s idol David Cassidy says DWI hurt his career, but ‘at least I’m not in jail’

SCHODACK, NY AUGUST 21: In this handout photo provided by the Schodack Police Department, David Cassidy is seen in a police booking photo after his arrest on charges of felony DWI, driving while intoxicated, August 21, 2013 in Schodack, New York. Cassidy
Photo by Handout/Getty Images

Did a trip to the track cost a ‘70s superstar a plea deal? On Wednesday, the Times Union reported that the David Cassidy, best known for his teen idol days on “The Partridge Family,” appeared in an upstate New York town court to face charges for driving under the influence in Schodack, New York last year. But a proposed plea deal was stalled when Cassidy finally made his appearance in front of Justice Bruce J. Wagner.

Cassidy, who resides in Florida, had hoped to plea to lesser count of misdemeanor DWI, and left the courtroom disappointed that the matter couldn’t be taken care of in one trip to New York. But Justice Wagner said he had concerns and ordered Cassidy to first get an alcohol screening before they could proceed.

The Justice added that while he would take a plea from Cassidy, sentencing would be adjourned until November to give time for his requirements to be met. In addition to a reduced misdemeanor charge, Cassidy’s deal calls for 50 hours of community service and the installation of an alcohol interlocking device on any vehicle he drives for the next year

The court’s concerns could stem from the fact that Cassidy was again caught driving under the influence this past January. CNN reported that the singer allegedly blew twice the legal level on an alcohol test administered by a California Highway Patrol officer after he was stopped for making an illegal right turn near the Los Angeles International Airport. And in 2010, he was convicted of driving under the influence in Florida and was arrested as a first time offender

For the New York case, prosecutors were originally willing to accommodate Cassidy and let his lawyers enter the plea deal on his behalf. But when a tweet from a the New York Racing Association revealed that the singer was at nearby Saratoga Race Course, 40 miles north of Schodack, on his scheduled court date of July 30, prosecutors became angry.

According to Page Six, prosecutors withdrew their approval of the part of Cassidy's DWI plea deal that allowed him to plead and be sentenced by mail. And now, it looks like he’ll have to make another trip back to the small town that he probably never wants to see again.

After Wednesday’s wasted trip, Cassidy told a Times Union reporter, “I'm not pleased how this turned out tonight, but at least I'm not going to prison.” He then admitted that while he was driving drunk, it was his first offense in New York state. “I didn't hurt anyone or crash my car,” he added. And while the singer went to rehab and has since stopped drinking, he revealed that all of the negative publicity has hurt his career and that people in both the recording and acting industries are now hesitant to work with him.

Cassidy’s new sentencing date is set for Nov. 5.

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