By Paloma Sifuentes
MODESTO, CA – A judge here Tuesday in Stanislaus County Superior Court sentenced a woman to 14 days in county jail after an under the influence (DUI) collision conviction – but it appears the accused might pay a bigger price than a few days in jail.
The accused was found guilty on two counts in her trial that took place in March. The first count was driving while under the influence of alcohol, and the second count was driving with a BAC (blood alcohol content) of .08 or higher (it was, at .176, more than twice the legal limit).
The prosecution asked for “20 days, a $1,600 fine, level one course, and three years of informal probation.”
But, Defense Attorney Aaron Villalobos argued, “this case would have more collateral consequences to my client than what the court would impose,” arguing the “20 day sentence seems to be if anything a trial tax,” suggesting she’s paying a higher price for going to trial rather than taking a plea.
Villalobos also noted with the single car collisions “the damage to the only party.. was to my client’s own vehicle, so if the court considered that she has already taken the brunt of that damage and cost as well.”
The accused did not testify during her trial, and her attorney stated, “she strives to be an American in this country, and when her DACA was at stake she had to fight as long as she could…apparently now she’s probably gonna lose it.”
The judge said the court understood the accused’s position, but had to take into consideration that there was a collision. Her concern was “what if there had been a person there.”
She also takes into consideration that Sanchez did not testify at trial, so the court is not aware of her position in the case, however the court did not observe fabrication or dishonesty. The judge stated that she respects the fact the accused did some AA classes, but does not think the case is worth 20 days in county jail.
The judge gave the accused informal probation for a period of three, 14 days in county jail starting July 5 and she is ordered to enroll in level 1 class and pay restitution for any loss to the victim within 30 days. She is also ordered to pay a $1,600 fine, $150 restitution fine, $40 security, and $30 criminal assessment fee.