COURT WATCH: Judge Agrees – Defense Concerned about Unnecessary Searches after Prosecution Insists Court Impose Search Condition for Release

By Cynthia Hoang-Duong

WOODLAND, CA – Here in Yolo County Superior Court Monday, Judge Daniel M. Wolk denied Deputy District Attorney Ashley Harvey’s request to impose a search condition for drugs as a part of the accused’s own recognizance (no bail) release (OR).

The accused is charged with misdemeanors for driving under the influence with an enhancement for excessive blood alcohol content, drunk driving at a BAC of 0.08 or higher, subject to the same enhancement, driving without a valid license and possession of more than eight grams of concentrated cannabis.

At the onset of the arraignment hearing, the judge appointed Deputy Public Defender Courtney Leavitt to represent the accused. She informed the court that her client pleaded not guilty and denied all enhancements.

Judge Wolk set the case for a pre-trial conference in four weeks before asking the DDA if she wanted any additional conditions other than the standard OR terms.

Noting the accused is under 21, meaning his license is suspended because of the charges, DDA Harvey said that she would not request a SCRAM order.

However, she requested the accused be searchable for drugs while released on OR, citing the prosecution typically asks for search and test conditions.

DPD Leavitt argued against the search condition because the accused was only charged with the possession of cannabis.

She maintained, “Given that, in general, that’s legal as long as it’s properly stored, I don’t think that a search condition is necessary for drugs in this case. I think that it would just kind of open up (the accused) to possible unnecessary searches.”

While DDA Harvey agreed possessing cannabis is legal, arrest property receipts indicate the accused possessed 954.2 grams of cannabis, which exceeds the legal limit.

Ruling in favor of the defense, Judge Wolk did not impose the search condition for drugs. The accused, the judge ruled, is to obey all laws and is prohibited from driving without a valid license or insurance, consuming alcohol and driving a vehicle after consuming drugs.

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