By Noe Herrera
MODESTO, CA – Early Monday morning in Stanislaus County Superior Court, Judge Dawna Reeves heard a defendant’s not-guilty plea to her fourth charge of DUI while still owing jail time for her third DUI conviction, and then sent her directly to jail.
Mary Carlotta-Sanchez Gil, 26, was arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) with a Blood Alcohol Content level of .22 on March 4 of this year.
DUI charges are considered misdemeanors in the state of California. However, the charge was enhanced to a felony because Gil had three prior DUI convictions, including one on December 21, 2020.
On Gil’s third DUI, she pleaded “no contest” without representation from an attorney. The judge in that case granted Gil probation on her own recognizance and set her surrender date to serve jail time on Nov. 12.
Defense attorney Joseph Patrick McPeak argued Gil should not be remanded into custody for her charges because Gil may have not had “the relevant understanding to change her plea to ‘no contest’ at that time as she was unrepresented.”
McPeak added that “she may not have understood which case she was talking about or pleading to. She may have also not understood the niceties about how priorability works.”
McPeak concluded that “a remand is not appropriate” considering Gil is a mother of two children and that she has recently found a new job.
Deputy District Attorney Sara Sousa noted, “Ms. Gil is 26 years old, she has had her first DUI case in 2014 and the BAC in that case was .22.” According to Sousa, Gil violated her probation terms in 2018 and “following that case, Ms. Gil picked up her second DUI in 2019.”
DDA Sousa argued that Gil should be remanded into custody immediately to serve her sentence. She added that “nearly three months after Ms. Gil was arrested for DUI for a third time, she picked up her fourth DUI.”
Sousa added, “Ms. Gil is not appreciating the seriousness and the nature of the consequences and risks she poses to society. She is 26 years old and she is on her fourth DUI” and “she is a danger to society.”
McPeak rebutted, “She just started this new job and she doesn’t have enough time with this level of notice to just take off” and that he has some concerns that she “was unrepresented at the time.”
McPeak asked Judge Reeves to extend Gil’s time to surrender until after New Year’s.
Judge Reeves responded, “I’m concerned that the pattern that Ms. Gil has demonstrated by the level of the blood alcohol alleged in these two cases and the frequency with which she is picking up these two cases is out of control.”
After reviewing the terms for her last conviction, which was to participate in at least two Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) meetings a week, Judge Reeves said “by my calculations she is going approximately once a week.
“It is out of control,” Judge Reeves said to McPeak, “your client appears to me to have a significant drinking issue that cannot be maintained by the court sufficiently to protect the public.”
Gil was remanded into custody to serve several months in jail for her third DUI conviction and her bail was set at $50,000 for her fourth and most recent DUI charge.
Gil’s next trial date is Dec. 8.