Technological Difficulties, Accused Misunderstanding Requires Hearing Be Postponed


By Gracy Joslin

SACRAMENTO, CA – After hopping on the court’s teleconference Zoom, a woman was having difficulties turning on her microphone to fulfill her requirement to attend the Sacramento Superior Court hearing by phone with Deputy Public Defender Christopher Paul Ryan.

Deputy District Attorney Sylvia La Rosa offered the woman, “Standard Term” for a DUI charge for driving with a BAC of 0.08 or more on July 21, 2021.

PD Ryan said that he reviewed the terms with his client and she understands all terms and “is prepared to waive all rights” and accept the offer.

However, it wasn’t quite that easy.

Judge Philip F. Stanger directly asked the accused, who was on the phone held up to the court microphone, if she understood and was ready to proceed with plea, admission and sentencing.

She then asked Judge Stanger to repeat a few times as she was not able to hear. Judge Stanger attempted to do so, but there were still difficulties with communication.

The accused did correct Judge Stanger, noting there should be no high BAC, Judge Stanger agreed and repeated the plea process, but the accused still had questions.

She was able to hear enough to plead no contest to a DUI charge with a BAC above 0.08.

When asked if she admits or denies “having a prior driving under the influence related offense occurring within the last 10 years, that being of April 1, 2017,” the woman was hesitant.

Judge Stanger, getting frustrated, said, “admit or deny is a simple question,” but the accused still struggled to hear and wasn’t about to give an admit or deny response.

Judge Stanger eventually gave up and said, “I can’t do this.”

PD Ryan suggested coming back on a different date in which Judge Stanger agreed it would be best.

The accused’s case is now set for May 23.


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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