Man Apologizes When Charged with Allegedly Threatening CHP Officer; Judge Cuts Him Off Mid-Sentence

By Citlalli Florez

MODESTO, CA – A man—who apologized at his arraignment—was charged here in Stanislaus Superior Court last week with felony threatening a California Highway Patrol Officer, and drunk driving.

A Spanish language interpreter was summoned in the beginning of the hearing to assist the accused.

Judge Carrie M. Stephens said charges included the accused committing a felony by allegedly threatening to commit a crime, noting that “it alleges that you willfully, unlawfully, and feloniously threatened to commit a crime which would result in death or great bodily injury.”

The alleged threat was, according to the complaint, directed towards a California Highway Patrol Officer. The judge read that it caused the officer to be “in sustained fear of his safety.”

The second count listed by the judge alleges that on the same day the accused committed a misdemeanor offense by driving under the influence of alcohol.

The court said a special allegation connected to Count 2 alleges the accused was driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.15 percent or higher.

When Judge Stephens asked the accused if he understood the nature of the charges, the accused responded “a little bit, I understand them but this seems like a very serious charge and if I truly offended them in this way, I would like to apologize.”

The judge cut off the accused mid-sentence and told him “do not say anything else, sir. What you might be saying could incriminate yourself. It’s really not a good idea to talk about the actual offense with me. I just want to make sure that you understand the type of charges that have been filed against you.”

When asked if he understood the charges, the accused noted “not 100 percent but I do hear them.”

When asked if he wanted an attorney to represent him, he said “yes” multiple times. The judge entered a plea of not guilty for the three counts and denials to the special allegations.

Early case management was set for Jan. 5. He will remain free with the bail bond he had posted.

About The Author

Citlalli Florez is a 4th year undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley. She is currently majoring in Legal Studies, Chicana/o Studies, and Art Practice. She intends to attend law school in the future with the purpose of gaining skills to further serve her community.

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