Accused Claims He Tried to Surrender Himself – Twice; Judge Tells Him to Try Again

By Daniella Dueñas

WOODLAND, CA – An accused sat in Yolo County Superior Court last week awaiting the hearing of his case in front of the Honorable David W. Reed.

It was just for a suspended license and a violation of his probation—but he had failed to follow a court order, and that elevated the problem.

Judge Reed called the man’s name (which won’t be published because it was just a misdemeanor) and noted he “failed to serve his 10 days in jail.” Apart from his jail sentence, he was also asked to begin and enroll in a substance abuse treatment program. There needed to be proof of completion of the treatment program brought to the court, the judge said.

“The issue now is that the last court date he failed to surrender,” interjected Deputy District Attorney Alvina Gigi Tzang, adding, “Our offer was for him to do the jail time and come back with the proof he was in the treatment program.”

Although the man did complete treatment program, Tzang said, he missed his surrender date again.

Before hearing why he failed to turn himself in, DDA Tzang explained that they received communication from the victim, requesting to modify the current no contact Criminal Protective Order. Judge Reed ruled that the order be amended, allowing contact as long as it’s not “threatening, annoying, or harassing.”

The defense counsel said, “It’s my understanding that he tried to surrender himself, on his surrender date but the jail turned him away. It’s unclear why the jail turned him away. But it’s my understanding that he did make an effort,” he revealed.

The man explained he did make an attempt to turn himself in. He recalls that it was his day off and that on Aug. 7, a Sunday, he “went to the Public Defender, and the sheriff’s department and my name wasn’t there.”

Judge Reed listened intently, before telling him that he could turn himself sometime this week or next week. “The way you described it doesn’t sound the way I know they run their house over there,” Judge Reed stated, sounding very puzzled over the situation.

The man asked Judge Reed if he could do a program or in-home custody because he has a job and does not want to miss work. Judge Reed turned down his request, telling him that he could have tried to look for a program before.

“My view is you need to do this time. You’ve had more than one surrender date. We’re six months after the sentence,” Judge Reed affirmed.

About The Author

Daniella Dueñas is a recent graduate from the University of California, Davis. She double-majored in Political Science and Sociology, with an emphasis on law and society. Her interest is primarily in immigration law, however, she is also interested in criminal law and justice. Daniella plans to attend law school in the future, but is working towards getting a certificate from an ABA-approved paralegal program.

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