Judge Releases Repeat DUI Offender on Own Recognizance Despite Prosecution’s Claim Potential Threat to Public

By Audrey Sawyer and Tommy Nguyen

VENTURA, CA – In Ventura County Superior Court Monday, a repeat DUI (driving under the influence) felon was granted release on own recognizance despite the prosecution’s concern that he might cause more harm to the public.

Francisco Romero Miranda is currently charged with felony driving under the influence and misdemeanor driving when privilege is suspended due to prior DUI convictions.

The accused waived arraignment and entered the plea of not guilty, denying any and all special allegations against him.

Deputy Public Defender Matthew Benitez commented Miranda was responding to a letter alleging conduct that is slightly over a year old and that there was no reason to contact law enforcement in Ventura County.

The accused also has strong ties to the community, he has been living at the same address and working in Ventura County for 19 years, said the PD, noting the accused will comply with any type of terms and conditions as well as court directives imposed by the court during his release, said Benitez.

In case the court was not inclined to grant the release, counsel suggested that the most amount of bail that the accused could afford is $10,000.

Deputy District Attorney Megan Rayburn asked that the court still impose bail, because of the accused’s “long history of DUI charges.”

On the day of the most recent incident, the accused’s license was still suspended; and according to the special allegation of high BAC level, he had consumed five drinks prior to driving.

The accused has many prior DUI convictions, both felonies and misdemeanors, dating back to before 2009, which led the prosecution to believe that he might be a danger to the public if released.

Without taking much time to consider, Judge Patricia Murphy granted the OR release request and referred the accused to probation for a pretrial risk-assessment.

The judge then informed the accused of the terms and conditions of his release, which include no drinking or possession of alcohol and submitting to tests and searches for substances.

The case comes back Oct. 3.

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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