By Matthew Liscovitz
WOODLAND – While the future of cash bail in California courts was in the hands of voters Tuesday, its current availability may have helped Faustino Ramos Garcia avoid pre-trial detention at his arraignment at Yolo County Superior Court.
Ramos Garcia faced felony child abuse and misdemeanor driving under the influence, misdemeanor drunk driving, and misdemeanor driving on a suspended license.
Ramos Garcia brought with him private defense attorney David Ritzinger, the only defendant to do so in Department 1’s afternoon session.
Even if the arraignment were to be continued, Deputy District Attorney Carolyn Palumbo urged the court to take Ramos Garcia into pre-trial custody. She pointed out that Ramos Garcia was pulled over after driving 99 miles per hour with a child in the car while on probation for a prior DUI.
The arrest report indicated that his blood alcohol level that evening was around .18 to .19. Palumbo also stressed that this was not an isolated incident, pointing out that Ramos Garcia’s 2018 DUI conviction stemmed from an incident in which his blood alcohol content was .16 to .17.
Judge Peter Williams agreed that Ramos Garcia presented a danger to himself and to the public, but declined to set bail in the amount Palumbo requested—$50,000. Instead, Judge Williams set bail at $20,000, and gave Ramos Garcia until noon on Nov. 4 to either post bail or turn himself into the Yolo County Sheriff.
If Ramos Garcia is able to post bail, one of the conditions of his release will be to refrain from consuming alcohol during the pendency of his case. The court will monitor this condition by ordering Ramos to wear a SCRAM bracelet, a device that continuously monitors the wearer’s sweat to determine if he has ingested alcohol.
Ritzinger did not make any arguments regarding the custody status of Ramos Garcia.
After setting bail, Judge Williams admonished Ritzinger to inform the court if Ramos Garcia is taken into custody so that the court can schedule a preliminary hearing within the 10-day mandatory statutory period.
If Ramos Garcia is not taken into custody, his next court date will be on Nov. 11, when he will be formally arraigned.
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