Defense Asks for Suspended Sentence for Hardworking Father To-Be; Judge Agrees to ‘Alternative’ Sentencing

By Julie McCaffery

WOODLAND, CA – The defense fought for a suspended sentence here in Yolo County Superior Court late last week for the accused, who was charged with evading a peace officer and reckless driving.

The accused was sentenced to jail time, but—after a little mix-up in court—agreed to do the time not in custody but with alternative sentencing.

The defense argued the accused is doing everything he can to rehabilitate himself, is the main provider of his household, and there would be grave ramifications if he served any time—that instead, he should be granted a suspended sentence. 

The defense asked for a suspended sentence with two years formal probation with no in custody time, because if he does go into custody he will lose his job and this will be detrimental for his family.

In the end, the accused signed a plea deal, understanding that it was “two years of formal probation with a suspended term.”

The prosecution, said the defense, failed to define the parameters of the suspension and, instead of the suspended term (meaning no time in custody) it meant a suspended state prison sentence, which did not include county jail.

The defense noted “perhaps [the prosecution] was not as clear with [the defense] as [the prosecution] should be.” 

In fact, the accused now has a recommended 120 days in custody by probation, and was asked by the prosecution to either withdraw the plea or seek alternative sentencing with the jail.

The defense argued that since there were no mitigating factors, the plea bargain should be honored with no time to serve. The defense stated the accused accepted the plea with the understanding that he would do no time because he is supporting his family.

The accused has been in successful rehabilitation after serving prior jail time, argued the defense, noting that “he works very hard, his wife just found out they’re expecting another baby, he leaves his home at 2 a.m. to drive to work and returns at 8 p.m., and he’s done everything he can to rehabilitate himself.”  

Judge Tom Dyer found that the 120 days or any jail time was not discussed with the accused, but, given his prior conviction, he found it perplexing to ask for no jail time.

The accused did accept the offer and not withdraw the plea, asking for his alternative sentencing to be done in Yuba County, where he resides. 

Judge Dyer said  he will comply with the probation recommendation, agreed to transfer him to Yuba County, and said he would not object to any alternative sentencing. 

He sentenced the accused to two years formal probation, 120 days in custody or alternative sentencing with four days credit for time served and good conduct.

About The Author

Julie is a third year at UC Davis majoring in Communications and Psychology with a minor in Philosophy. She hopes to advocate for women's reproductive rights and make the justice system fairer for sexual assault survivors.

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