Court Indefinitely Freezes Fines for College Student’s Drunk Driving Case Pending Completion of Probation

By Michael Apfel

WOODLAND, CA – A University of California, Davis, student pleaded no contest here this week in Yolo County Superior Court to misdemeanor wet reckless driving and agreed to a reduced fine, summary probation for one year, eight hours of community service, a 12-hour alcohol education class and no alcohol until the term of probation or until she turns 21.

The plea deal was a reduction from the original DUI (drunk driving) charge, and means the dismissal of all remaining counts, although this case would be considered a prior in the event of a future DUI.

With the wet and reckless count, the accused cannot consume alcohol beverages for the probation’s term, until the accused turns 21.

This plea came as a result of a deal made between the prosecution and defense in light of the accused’s good community standing and lack of a criminal record.

Normally, a $1,829 fine would be associated with this kind of case, but it was reduced in this instance in part because the accused received credit for spending one day in jail and also because Deputy District Attorney Ashley Harvey and the court agreed to make some related fines indefinitely pending.

“I would make a request to the court that the one day of credit she has for the night she was in jail be applied to her fine, and I’m also asking that the remaining fines be stayed pending successful completion of probation because [the accused] is a college student,” said the deputy public defender.

“She’s enrolled at UC Davis…back at school for this term. She’s going to have to pay for her alcohol education class, which is already an expense for a college student. She has no record outside of this…it would be a financial hardship on her while she’s pursuing her education to have to pay these fines and fees to the court as well. If she successfully completed probation, I ask the fines be stayed pending successful completion,” the DPD said.

After Judge Daniel Wolk of Yolo Superior Court Dept. 1 deemed the fine reduction permissible, he accepted the accused’s plea. Though there was a fine of about $280, the rest of the fines could effectively be lifted following the completion of the accused’s probation terms, the court said.

About The Author

Michael Apfel is a second year at USC majoring in Legal Studies and minoring in Sports Media Industries. He plans on law school after his undergraduate studies looking to work in social justice.

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