PD Convinces Court to Treat Meth Defendant, Not Jail Him


By Julian Navarro

SACRAMENTO – A Sacramento male—arrested on multiple occasions recently trying to sell meth to maintain his drug addiction—caught a break here in Sacramento County Superior Court when his public defender convinced a judge to treat the drug addiction rather than jail the addict.

On Jul. 23, Shawn Chavez was nabbed during a searchable probation search by law enforcement inside a vehicle—they found 15 grams of meth, scales used for drug sales, 70 unused baggies, and cash.

And, the defendant was caught once again on Sep. 2, at a cemetery bathroom after business hours, where he had 47 grams of meth, $400, a stun gun, and was with a potential buyer.

Deputy District Attorney Spencer Rajabzadeh said that once officers interrogated Chavez they were advised by the defendant that he sells meth and consumes it. In addition, Rajabzadeh stated that Chavez sells meth in order to feed his meth addiction.

Rajabzadeh advised the judge that Chavez has a total of 34 failures to appear in previous cases. He also said that Chavez had two felony and two misdemeanor charges against him.

Assistant Public Defender Guy Danilowitz said that he isn’t disputing any of the facts that Rajabzadeh stated, but Chavez hasn’t missed any of his hearings for all the charges against him right now.

As far as the crimes, the PD argued Chavez’ drug addiction has led to these crimes being committed in the first place.

Danilowitz believes that bail shouldn’t be placed on his client, and instead his defendant should receive the treatment he needs to fight his drug addiction.

Judge Patrick Marlette applauded Danilowitz for doing the best for his client, and said he will release Chavez on Level 5 supervision, and order him to report to the Sacramento probation department.

The conditions placed by the judge included that Chavez can’t have any controlled substances and will be placed on search and seizure at any time by law enforcement and probation. Chavez will receive counseling at Another Choice, Another Chance twice each week.

Judge Marlette ordered the probation department to provide random testing to Chavez for the presence of drugs weekly.

Next court hearing will be on Nov. 19, in Sacramento Department 63 for the progress report on Chavez.

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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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