Deputy Public Defender Insists on Credit for Defendant – Probation is Sticky Issue


By Stephanie Don

WOODLAND – A defendant here has a big decision to make after savvy Deputy Public Defender Martha Sequeira posed some interesting questions during a Zoom live stream hearing Monday in Yolo County Superior Court, which could result in her client being released for time served.

From an incident occurring in 2018, Sonja Serventi pleaded no contest to felony possession and firing of a firearm, misdemeanor possession of narcotic paraphernalia, and a violation of probation terms sentenced from the incident. She’s on probation.

On June 27, 2020, Serventi was arrested in the city of El Monte, Los Angeles County, for possession of someone else’s identification. Serventi was held by police for an undisclosed amount of time.

Monday, Serventi appeared before the court to determine the effects of her arrest in El Monte on her previous sentencing, including that pesky probation from 2018.

DPD Sequeira posed to the court that the time Serventi was held by El Monte police could be converted into credit to be applied to her 196-day jail sentence. Because the arrest was made in a different county, the process for applying credits involves more communication and conversion, but the prosecutor agreed to contact El Monte police to confirm if the time Serventi was held could apply to her sentence.

The number of days held could amount to time served, depending on the conversion, said Sequeira.

However, Serventi would need to admit to being arrested and held in El Monte, effectively admitting to violating her probation terms, in order to apply the days held to her sentencing.

DPD Sequeira suggested to Serventi to wait until the days held in El Monte were converted into credit before deciding to admit to the arrest in El Monte. The matter was continued.

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About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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