Woman Refuses All Legal Help Offered by Judge, Public Defender – Declares ‘I Just Want to Get This Over With’

By Tommy Nguyen and Ivan Villegas

WOODLAND, CA – During her arraignment hearing here in Yolo County Superior Court Thursday, the accused quickly entered a guilty plea despite the court’s attempt to offer her legal help.

The accused was charged with felony trespassing of posted property, to which she pleaded guilty.

The judge asked her if she needed to be represented by an attorney, to which she said no.

The offer to the accused if she pleaded guilty was a $425 fine with no probation. Another option offered by the prosecution was that she could participate in an online diversion program, and the charge will be dismissed.

The accused refused that offer, confirming that she wanted to take a plea, and that she “does not want a lawyer, she wants to represent herself.”

Judge David Reed informed the accused of the rights that she would have to give up by pleading guilty or no contest, before inquiring about her husband who was also appearing on Zoom.

“I feel uncomfortable with someone advising you whom I don’t know. I don’t know who he is, I don’t know what his legal background is,” Judge Reed said, adding, “But it sounds like you are doing what he is asking you to do, as opposed to what you are wanting to do.”

The accused explained she did not understand all the legal terms that were presented to her, to which the judge responded that she needs to be honest and understand what she is getting herself into.

“I understand that I am guilty and I’d like to pay for my guilt,” the accused said.

Judge Reed, however, insisted on denying the plea and wanted the accused to understand carefully what she was doing, especially all the rights that she was giving up taking that plea.

Deputy Public Defender Eric Arias spoke up and asked if he could have a moment to advise her about the case and how she should proceed with it, which the judge allowed.

“She does not want our services,” Arias informed the judge of the accused’s decision after their talk in private.

Judge Reed offered to give the accused more time to consult with a lawyer before taking a guilty plea and informed her of the possibility of deportation for non-U.S. citizens who are found guilty of certain misdemeanors, including trespass.

Denying the help once again, the accused pleaded guilty and agreed to pay the $425 fine. “I just want to get this over with. I’d like to pay,” she insisted.

About The Author

Tommy is a sophomore majoring in Economics and minoring in Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. He is an international student from Vietnam and fueled with the frustration agaisnt flawed justice system that lets down the minority. He is aspired to become a criminal justice attorney and will hopefully attend law school in 2025.

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2 Comments

  1. Delilah Hammons

    This sounds like an interesting arraignment hearing for sure. I find it interesting that this judge took the time to really get the point across. I have never seen something like that happen in court, often it seems like the judge wants to get through as many cases as possible each day.

  2. Taylor Smith

    I always enjoy seeing how much the judges want to give the accused their best chance. I have seen this happen a few times where the accused want to speak for themselves but make uninformed decisions with which the judges are often very lenient as they want the accused to be able to expend all of their rights. It’s definitely frustrating for the attorneys in this situation too!

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