Sentencing Enhancements Give Way to Pleas in Vandalism, Failure to Appear Cases


By Dario McCarty

WOODLAND, CA—At Yolo County Superior Court Monday two defendants, one in a failure to appear case and one in a vandalism case, both decided to plead to their alleged crimes after sentencing enhancements were appended to their charges.

The first defendant, Salvador Rodriguez, was standing trial for a felony charge of failure to appear, a charge which is served to those who fail to appear to a court date for other felony charges while out on OR (own recognizance) release.

Rodriguez’s charges had been, rather redundantly, appended with a PC § 12022.1(b) enhancement for the fact that these offenses were committed while out on OR release. The enhancement carries with it an additional two years of jail time added onto the time that the initial felony charge carries with it.

Rodriguez chose to plead no contest to this charge and waive his rights to a trial. In response, Judge Dave Rosenberg meted out his sentence, sentencing him to jail time, but opting to suspend the sentence and allowing him to serve it on felony probation.

“The result of this plea will be one-third the middle based term, which is eight months. The court ultimately at sentencing is going to sentence Mr. Rodriguez to a county jail term, but that sentence will be suspended so that he can serve on a grant of felony probation,” said Judge Rosenberg.

Judge Rosenberg further warned the defendant that failure to meet probation’s directions would land him in jail to serve out the aforementioned sentence.

The second defendant, Raymond Anthony Aragon, was standing in court on two alleged charges of felony vandalism. However, because Aragon had a prior felony conviction on his record, his charges were subject to a Penal Code § 667(e) enhancement, meaning that his minimum sentence would be doubled.

The district attorney’s office, however, offered to strike this enhancement from Aragon’s charges if Aragon would in exchange agree to a guilty plea.

“Your Honor, we would be willing to remove the strike due to its age—it’s approximately 10-11 years old and the defendant has a relatively limited criminal history outside of that,” said a representative for the district attorney’s office to Judge Rosenberg.

In light of this, Aragon decided to plead no contest to his charges. Judge Rosenberg accepted the plea and scheduled Aragon’s sentencing hearing for Aug. 30.

“Probation will interview Mr. Aragon in custody, and we will see this case again on the 30th for sentencing,” said Rosenberg.


About The Author

Dario is a rising junior at UC Berkeley studying Political Economy and English who is passionate about criminal justice reform.

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