COURT WATCH: Judge Issues Bench Warrant for Woman Despite ‘Heart’ Problems

By Audrey Sawyer

MODESTO, CA – A judge here in Stanislaus County Superior Court this week issued a bench warrant for a woman facing misdemeanor driving under the influence (DUI) charges who had just one class remaining to receive her driver’s license back.

Acknowledging the woman has health issues, the warrant was still issued by Judge Jeff Mangar.

Deputy Public Defender Jesse Ricks argued the accused has had consistent heart problems, including heart surgery, and having her in custody from when she’s picked up on the warrant until court could have “extremely adverse” health results.

When Judge Mangar asked for the status of the remaining class, DPD Ricks once again pointed out the accused’s absence may be because of the accused’s health problems.

But Judge Mangar noted the accused said that she had one more remaining class as of April 3, and argued that the other date had been May 22, and the accused had still not taken the class.

The prosecution’s opinion agreed with DPD Ricks, adding they had talked about this prior to this hearing and there was only one class left.

Despite the prosecution concurring with the defense, Judge Mangar said it had been “five months” for her to complete one class, adding, “I do see information about health issues in the reports.”

But the judge ultimately decided to issue the bench warrant, but at just $5,500 instead of the scheduled $25,000, and noted there was “good cause” to not revoke the accused’s own recognizance pretrial release at this point.

Trial resetting is Oct. 6.

About The Author

Audrey is a senior at UC San Diego majoring in Political Science (Comparative Politics emphasis). After graduation, Audrey plans on attending graduate school and is considering becoming a public defender.

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