COURT WATCH: Accused Gets Deal, but Judge Tells Him to Start Paying Fine Soon, Despite Being Unhoused and Facing Financial Hardship 

By Avery Redula 

WOODLAND, CA – An accused man here in Yolo County Superior Court Monday was allowed to pay minimum fines, but it turned out he had to start paying them soon, despite his stated financial hardships and recent homelessness.

Regarding the first case, the accused pleaded no contest to driving under the influence with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent (the legal limit) or more. The accused was also charged with an enhancement for having an excessive BAC of .15% or more, which the accused admitted he was guilty of doing.

Deputy District Attorney David Robbins additionally added a count of a misdemeanor drug possession violation, to which the accused pleaded no contest.

For the second case the accused was originally charged with felony vandalism. However, this was reduced and amended to a misdemeanor case, in which the accused also pleaded no contest.

The court accepted the pleas and Judge Daniel Wolk found the accused guilty on all counts.

In regard to sentencing, Deputy Public Defender Jose Gonzalez stated the accused wished to set a jail surrender date in January in order to finish the academic semester in Sacramento.

“He wouldn’t want his current semester or his current studies to be impacted,” DPD Gonzalez argued, adding the accused also believes that the upcoming holiday season combined with the jail surrender would further inhibit his studies.

Judge Wolk subsequently granted a surrender date for Jan. 9, 2024.

DPD Gonzalez also asked the court to impose the minimum amount of fines for both cases due to the accused’s financial status, noting, “He is experiencing homelessness right now. He does not have a home over his head.”

DPD Gonzalez also advocated for the accused to pay increments of $20 for the minimum set fine amount of $1,879  for the DUI case plus an additional $261 minimum for the vandalism case.

DDA Robbins accepted the surrender date but objected to the accused paying anything less than the minimum fine amount, arguing it was not previously agreed to by the parties.

Judge Wolk agreed that the accused will pay the minimum amount. With a catch. He is to start paying his fine starting Nov. 1 and at the start of every subsequent month until it is fully paid, despite his financial situation and current academic enrollment.

The accused was placed on summary probation for three years.

About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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