By Leila Katibah
SANTA BARBARA – Deputy Public Defender Carrie Petersen in Santa Barbara County Superior Court requested a meeting with the district attorney’s office this week to “preserve his immigration status” for an accused, whose name is omitted due to his current immigration status.
The hearing was rescheduled for January for the accused, who is facing two felony charges of inflicting corporal injury on a spouse and assault with force likely to inflict great bodily injury in February. He was also subsequently charged with a misdemeanor for contempt of court, after violating a protective order in April.
Because of his current status as an undocumented resident going through the process of attaining citizenship, being convicted of these felony and misdemeanor charges in a jury trial would result in deportation, a circumstance the defense and accused wanted to avoid.
PD Petersen noted the accused “has a minimal record,” and “is going to work with me and we’re going to essentially do programming and things we can present to the DA in hopes the DA may consider dismissal in this case.”
Deputy District Attorney Hannah L. Meyer agreed to a preliminary hearing for Jan.19, 2023, allocating enough time for DPD to allow the accused to enter a program to mitigate the domestic abuse charges.