Judge Orders Longer Jail Sentence for DUI Driver Despite Argument by Public Defender

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By Gracy Joslin

WOODLAND, CA – In a sentencing hearing last Friday morning in Yolo County Superior Court, Deputy Public Defender Katie Rogers argued that the numerous sentencing requests made by the court and supported by Deputy District Attorney Aaron Rojas in her client’s driving under the influence charge was higher than the standard for the crime.

*Note: The Vanguard will not normally disclose of name of those accused of infractions or misdemeanors.

DPD Rogers argued the court “should be giving (the accused) a chance to prove that he can do this without all these extra circumstances and limitations on his freedom.”

In May of last year, her client was charged with two misdemeanor charges for driving under the influence and an excessive BAC which was 0.36, about 0.28 over the legal limit.

Before hearing arguments from both parties, upon the request of DDA Rojas, Judge Tom Dyer noted that the court currently stands with the following sentencing for the defendant: $2,058 fine, alcohol education course, one month license suspension, three year summary probation, SCRAM device (ankle bracelet that detects alcohol consumption), no alcohol for a period of time, restitution to be determined, and jail time.

Judge Dyer noted that, in terms of the length of jail time, the “standard sentencing guidelines” would elicit 30 days in county jail, however this was directly disputed by PD Rogers who noted that the standard sentencing for someone with a BAC over 0.35, but under 0.41 is 25 days in jail.

In addition to objecting to the jail sentence length, PD Rogers argued against the request of a SCRAM device and DA Rojas’ request for installation of an intermission interlock device to the accused’s vehicle for one year.

Moreover, the public defender noted this is the driver’s first DUI offense to her knowledge, other than a possession of marijuana charge, which today would not be a crime, and such a requirement for a SCRAM device for a first offense is uncommon.

However, DA Rojas said the accused had a “no contest” plea to a DUI charge back in 2014 and therefore the jail sentencing length seems adequate.

After hearing both sides’ arguments, Judge Dyer upheld the previously mentioned sentence with no SCRAM device and the higher sentencing, which was 30 days in county jail.

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About The Author

Gracy is a 4th Year at UC Davis studying Political Science and minoring in Communications and Sociology. Post graduation plans include traveling and then eventually attending Law School.

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