Judge Denies Defense Motion for Release While Acknowledging Accused Can’t Afford Bail 

By Kevin Barragan

WOODLAND, CA – The accused was charged with a felony and misdemeanor this week in Yolo County Superior Court for discharging a firearm while being under the influence—and after court he went back to jail when a defense motion for him to be released on OR/his own recognizance/no bail was denied by the judge.

Just before Christmas, the accused was ordered to be released on supervised OR under SCRAM monitoring. Current Judge Daniel Wolk admits he has a report on the order, but the prosecution charged the accused violated his release conditions to not consume alcohol.

The defense explained, “On December 22nd, (the accused) was entitled to a 10-day pre-trial hearing, but the District Attorney was not ready to go. Under Penal Code 859.b, he should’ve been released on his own recognizance, not SOR. The court didn’t have the authority to rule that.”

The defense added the law may impose necessary and reasonable conditions upon the accused but argued being under SCRAM would not be the necessary factor or reasonable condition to be released, and demanded the court release the accused under OR or SOR without SCRAM until the preliminary hearing that is set for the upcoming week.

“I’m also concerned that there is no ramification that is signed… I’m not sure what the authority is to hold (the accused) at this point or prior to,” argued the defense, noting the accused has a home in which to reside.

The prosecution objected to the defense, stating, “I think the court would have to engage an appeal to the previous judge decision to SOR… my notes indicate that the public defender demands he be released under SOR so the People bargained for SOR with a SCRAM”

The DDA added the accused was intoxicated while discharging a firearm. Shots were apparently heard by neighbors and officers. The DA agreed if they want to take the case back to the previous judge to argue OR vs SOR, they can, but indicates they’re set for preliminary hearing and pre-trial conference in the upcoming week.

“He (the accused) should never have been placed in SOR…this wasn’t an arraignment decision and the People weren’t ready to go on the 10th day. Therefore, pursuant to statute ‘shall be released on own recognizance’ does not say shall be released on supervised recognizance” argued the defense.

Defense also insisted they should not go back to the previous judge who ruled SOR with SCRAM since they are already in court and the accused is already in custody for that matter.

The DDA acknowledged the accused statutory rights but said the conditions for the SOR release were for the accused to not consume alcohol. Since he was intoxicated while discharging the firearm, the DDA said the accused should remain in custody as a “threat to society” since they can’t find a solution to his drinking.

Judge Wolk asked if the prosecution wanted bail, and the DDA said it did.

The defense objected, noting, “We don’t have a transcript of the bargaining negotiations of SOR but we do have the penal code and statutes that indicate (the accused) shall be released on his own recognizance.”

Judge Wolk ruled, “The court will revoke SOR and will set bail in the amount of $25,000 for felony and $1,000 for the misdemeanor.”

The judge added, “The court does accept for purposes of hearing that (the accused) is unable to afford that amount of bail. Having reviewed the record on SOR and OR and arguments of counsel, the court finds based on individualized consideration factors by clear and convincing evidence that non-financial conditions and release will not protect the public.”

The accused was sent back to county jail and set to appear in court later this week.

About The Author

Gracy is a 4th Year at UC Davis studying Political Science and minoring in Communications and Sociology. Post graduation plans include traveling and then eventually attending Law School.

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