Woman with Health Conditions Sentenced to Home Detention, Not Jail, After Violating Probation

By Anna Zheng

WOODLAND, CA – Kari Martinez appeared in Yolo County Superior Court last week after being charged for the possession of methamphetamine and a device used for unlawfully injecting or smoking a controlled substance.

Per condition of Martinez’s probation, she was ordered to serve 15 days in the county jail, but she failed to meet that condition as she did not complete the jail time.

While Judge Tom Dyer was helping Martinez appoint an attorney, she interjected asking, “May I say something?” to which Judge Dyer advised her that, “everything you say can be used against you, but will that said and your understanding of that, go ahead.”

Martinez then laid the circumstances of her situation to explain to the court as to why she had missed her previous court date.

“I actually did not mean to miss my court date. We were homeless at the time and my mom had just passed away. I’m going through some really serious health issues and it just slipped my mind completely. And due to COVID as well, it just slipped my mind completely. It was not an intentional part on my side,” Martinez explains.

Judge Dryer assured Martinez that “I was aware that you put herself on calendar and that warrant is gone.” He then gave her his condolences for her lost mother and for her health issues.

Deputy District Attorney Zheng then asked Judge Dryer for clarification, “If I’m hearing correctly, the reason for the failure was because of her health issues and the death in the family. Was that the reason why she forgot to or was unable to do the jail time?”

Judge Dryer believed it was in regard to her court date, however, he asked Martinez to specify once again to make sure he did not mishear.

Martinez proceeded to answer the District Attorney’s question, stating, “No, that is not the reason. I went out there to the sheriff’s department. I was given an appointment and then I was unable to make that appointment that morning and I had called her immediately to reschedule it.”

“And she kind of got a little bit irritated with me and she told me that I would not be able to do house arrest. I told her that my health conditions would permit me to do it. I have COPD [chronic obstructive pulmonary disease] and congestive heart failure. There’s no way I can do that, you know what I mean. So they just kind of left it at that. And then my mom passed away and so on and then everything just slipped my mind,” Martinez further clarified.

Zheng then offered a deal, where she stated, “Your honor, this is her first failure. I think her probation has been in revoked status for the past two months… I think we did the VOP [violation of probation] in May. If the court is okay with it, I’m inclined to dismiss the VOP in the interest of justice.

“Give her another surrender date to contact the jail, but I want the court to take into consideration the fact that probation was in revoked status for two months so instead of having probation expire on Dec. 7 of this year to expire on Feb. 7. And then we’ll just give her a re-referral to do the jail time.”

Public Defender Katie Rogers said, “given the health conditions that Ms. Martinez has stated, it may be in her benefit if the court recommends that she do home custody.”

Judge Dyer accepted both Rogers and Zheng’s offers, where she was allowed to do home detention in light of her health conditions with her probation violation dismissed.

About The Author

Anna Zheng is a fourth year at UC Davis from Sonoma, California. She is studying International Relations and Economics with the intent of pursuing a J.D. degree in the future. Ultimately, she hopes to pursue a career in consulting, finance, intellectual property or business immigration law.

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