By Ramneet Singh
WOODLAND, CA – It’s not always the case, but Friday in Dept. 11 in Yolo County Superior Court, it all worked out for a young mother accused of drunk driving and other charges.
Judge Timothy L. Fall approved a plea deal that dropped felony and misdemeanor charges in favor of a lesser count. The plea deal was partly based on the progressively positive actions and behavior of the defendant from that point, to which Deputy District Attorney Caryn Warren attested.
Defendant Thalia Cisneros was charged with three different accounts, one felony, and two misdemeanors on Sept. 14, 2020. The felony charge concerned child endangerment and the misdemeanors involved a DUI and “drunk driving.”
Cisneros already had an arraignment and a preliminary hearing; the calendar specified that this was a “PX pre-hearing conference.”
From a preliminary hearing, Fall stated “…the last minute order showed also a possible change of plea.” At this point, Deputy Public Defender James Bradford responded, “I have it, your Honor” and provided the court with a plea form.
In the direction of Cisneros, Fall described “…you are going to be entering a plea to what will be an added count, sometimes called a wet reckless…The felony child endangerment charge will be dismissed, along with the DUI charges.”
According to the Shouse California Law Group, a “wet reckless is the informal name given to a crime that a person charged with DUI pleads guilty or no contest to as part of a plea agreement. The prosecutor agrees to drop the more serious DUI charge in exchange for the defendant pleading to the less serious wet reckless charge.”
In affirming the position, DDA Warren cited potential “evidentiary issues in this case. She’s got no criminal record. She’s complied with CPS and has done parenting classes that she’s almost completed, and she’s also been engaged in CommuniCare and is doing very well.”
Cisneros pleaded “no contest.” Fall accepted the plea and proceeded to sentence.
Warren determined that Cisneros would still have to participate in a three-month DUI course.
PD Bradford asked the court “…to consider imposing a lower fine in this case. Ms. Cisneros is taking care of a three-year-old and is pregnant with her next child. She has spent already a significant amount of money with doing parenting classes and will have to spend money for the DUI class. She has no record and works as a maid.”
With affirmation from the attorneys, Fall determined to place Cisneros on one year of probation and proceeded to describe the conditions of probation.
Fall further noted that “based on the information that I’ve been given, I know the usual is $1,599 fine and penalty assessment, but it appears that it would be theft to instead go with the minimum fine and penalty assessment.” He determined that it would be $853. After running down the specific fees, he noted that the payment would be in $50 per month increments and the first payment would be delayed.
Fall expanded on court orders, specifically concerning the alcohol-related charges. Directed to Bradford, Fall stated that Cisneros “needs to sign the probation order and show enrollment…I want your client to sign it within a week…the proof of returning it will be in the eight-week period” along with ‘proof of enrollment’ in the course.
Fall concluded that if Cisneros followed the orders, within a year, the case would be finished with the aforementioned orders.
Ramneet Singh is a third-year student at the University of California, Davis. He is a Political Science major and is pursuing a History minor. He is from Livingston, California.
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