Simple Case, Simple Offer but Accused Needs Time to Consider Options for Defense to Explain Deal

By Daniella Dueñas

WOODLAND, CA – Earlier this month, an accused was charged with a misdemeanor for driving with a suspended license and was given an infraction for driving at a speed greater than 100 miles per hour.

And the accused’s first day in court was last week in Yolo County Superior Court.

The accused was the only person to appear in court via Zoom.

Judge Raoul M. Thorbourne informed her she would be given a court appointed lawyer. In the court was Deputy Public Defender Cheyanne Martin to counsel her during the day’s arraignment hearing. 

Martin explained that if the accused were to enroll in a diversion program, specifically the PES (Pacific Educational Services) program for the misdemeanor committed—Deputy District Attorney Laura Columbel’s offer to settle—the case could be dismissed.

“Ms. Martin, there was an offer made by the People,” stated Judge Thorbourne, but apparently the accused wanted more information regarding the program. According to Martin, the accused was open to the DA’s offer but that as a result she was going to need an attorney assigned to her.

“This is just a suspended license charge,” said Judge Thorbourne, seemingly puzzled.

“Yes, your Honor but there may be collateral consequences and stuff as well, so we just want to make sure she’s getting all the advice she needs,” DPD Martin reasoned. The court proceeded to set a date, allowing the accused to receive more information.

A pretrial conference was set for Nov 30. 

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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