A foot in the right direction would be to refrain from maligning Bowers any more than we already have. Pundits and those in comments slammed him more than enough, and repeated disparagement does nothing for past events. Hopefully he's been scared into paying more attention in the future.
Unlike the most vocal critics, I am an attorney in New York and New Jersey, I live in Queens (near La Guardia Airport) and I am familiar with the New York Penal Code's articles on firearms. Previous articles are fully accurate as to what Bowers has been charged with, and what sentence he can receive. Those would be criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, a class C felony, which carries a minimum 42 month sentence and a maximum of 15 years.
Those who commented on Sander's article were also on point in distinguishing Plaxico's incident from Da'Quan's. Burress faced an additional charge of reckless endangerment as the firearm discharged in public, which crippled him in plea negotiations. While both men, under the law, were in possession of loaded weapons, Da'Quan's gun was loaded by a created legal fiction. Reports indicated that his ammunition was located in the same vessel as the firearm -- and anything that can be readily loaded in New York is considered loaded. Plaxico actually had rounds in the weapon.
This difference may seem trivial under the law as both men share a charge, however this makes an immense difference during a plea negotiation.
Legal research will find that case law yields close to nothing relevant. Cases that go to trial for first time offenders have garnered the minimum punishment with the opportunity for early release (legal minimums are not absolute, especially for the financially endowed). It is unlikely that Bowers goes to trial, and probable he bargains with the DA.
As far as plea deals are concerned, the most relevant information would be closed and sealed -- not public record and only viewable by the Bar Association or federal agencies (FBI, CIA, DEA, etc.). In order to gain insight I've reached out to colleagues for deals they have personally negotiated.
Da'Quan Bowers Arrest: Legal analysis by an attorney
Bucs Nation | Feb 19