By Stacie Guevara
SACRAMENTO, CA – After a rough past with multiple DUIs, rehab and life as a single mother, a defendant will serve probation, register in an alcohol education program and serve jail time, surrendering on March 4 for a driving under the influence charge.
Though the defendant was not present in court, her attorney, R. Allaye Chan, Jr., represented her this week before Judge Philip F. Stanger in Sacramento County Superior Court Department 84.
She was charged with having a high BAC and also admitting violation of a previous probation, so there was a discussion about sentencing her to a three-year license suspension.
Attorney Chan said her client had no treatment whatsoever from her previous two misdemeanors and said, “Frankly, I think she’s got PTSD from a previous domestic violence relationship.”
Chan said the defendant went into a 30-day rehab, which she completed. He added she has attended at least 150 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and said proof was provided to Deputy District Attorney Kelly Mulcahy and the court.
Chan added that she has three children and works as an assistant in a real estate office in Folsom, but she does not have a family to support her.
Chan said when her first DUI started years ago, her husband left her. Since then, he has not paid any child support or helped out in any way, shape or form.
“All we’re going to do by taking her license is spiral her. She’s doing everything that society wants her to do. The streets are safer. She’s been sober now for seven months,” Chan said.
Chan asked the court not to impose the three-year suspension of her driver’s license, and DDA Mulcahy agreed, saying, “Frankly, she’s going to drive whether she has [her license] or not.”
Mulcahy acknowledged that the defendant has done a lot to improve her situation and she retracted the three-year license suspension suggestion.
Judge Stanger read the defendant’s rights and charges to Chan, to which he pleaded no contest on his client’s behalf.
Judge Stanger said if the defendant continues to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or both, and as a result of that driving, someone is killed, she can be charged with murder. Stanger asked Chan if he was willing to indicate that he advised the defendant to that effect and that she understood that.
“Not only did I advise her, your Honor—when I do these forms with my clients over the phone, I make them read that paragraph to themselves,” Chan responded.
Judge Stanger said he was happy to hear that, especially in Sacramento’s recent history of traffic accidents.
DDA Mulcahy said it was reported that in this case the defendant had a blood alcohol content of 0.22 percent—nearly three times the legal limit.
As a result, Judge Stanger said she must serve five years of informal probation, 120 days in county jail and sign up for an alcohol education program no later than May 6.
All but the first six days of the 120-day jail sentence will be suspended if she completes the conditions of that five years of probation, including obeying all laws and not getting another DUI charge, said the judge.
On Arfa’s behalf, Chan accepted the terms of probation and the defendant will surrender at the main jail in Downtown Sacramento on March 4 for her initial jail stint.