COURT WATCH: Probation and Prosecution Urge Judge to Keep Woman’s SCRAM Device on Despite Accused Abiding All Probation Orders – Judge Disagrees

By Madison Whittemore

WOODLAND, CA – Deputy District Attorney Aloysius Patchen and a probation officer adamantly opposed two motions by the defense last week here in Yolo County Superior Court to remove a SCRAM alcohol monitoring device from a woman who has been in compliance with her pretrial probation requirements.

The good news for the accused is that Judge Daniel Wolk eventually agreed to remove the SCRAM device after hearing arguments from certified legal intern India Neville, under supervision of the public defender’s office.

On May 5, 2023, the accused (with no prior criminal history) was charged with driving under the influence/DUI after she crashed into a parked car in Yolo County. After being breathalyzed, it was discovered that the accused had a very high blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.2.

Despite having a high BAC, the accused was released on supervised own recognizance (SOR) and has since been wearing a SCRAM device and has succeeded in abiding by all court-issued probation requirements.

During last Wednesday’s court date, Neville submitted two motions to Judge Wolk that requested the SCRAM device be removed from the accused’s ankle.

“[The accused] has shown great initiative to seek out support. She has a stable job and is busy working as an in-home aid that she loves and she still finds the time to attend Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings,” Neville said, also noting various other “positive proactive actions” the accused has taken.

In fact, even though the accused continues to attend AA meetings every Friday, attending these meetings is not one of the accused’s probation or SOR requirements, said the defense. 

According to the accused, because of her job as an in-home aid, the SCRAM device chafes her ankle at work which causes pain. 

Despite conceding the accused had been doing well on SOR and had not violated any of the terms of her probation, DDA Patchen vehemently opposed the request to remove the device and labeled the accused as a “significant safety risk.”

“I just feel like this is pretty significantly dangerous behavior,” DDA Patchen explained to Judge Wolk, also adding that the accused’s DUI was “pretty egregious” because of her high BAC.

Judge Wolk turned to Probation Officer Arthur Arustamyan and requested his opinion on removal of the SCRAM device. 

“(The accused) should not be disappointed if she’s not taken off of SCRAM today,” Officer Arustamyan asserted, showing his support of DDA Patchen’s opposition to remove the SCRAM.

The probation officer did acknowledge the accused’s compliance with the terms of her probation, but explained the accused has only been on SCRAM for 28 days which is “insufficient” compared to similar cases where people remain on SCRAM for at least three months.

DDA Neville once again appealed to Judge Wolk and urged him to look at how “above and beyond” the accused has gone to prioritize the terms of her probation and recovery.

“I ask the court to consider everything [the accused] has done to make her life better,” Neville said at the end of the hearing.

In the end, Judge Wolk ordered that the SCRAM device be removed and released the accused on her own recognizance.

The case will remain as is until the pretrial conference on Oct. 11.

About The Author

Madison Whittemore is a rising junior at the University of California, Davis where she studies political science and psychology. After completing her undergraduate studies, Madison wants to go to law school and study criminal law while working to improve efforts for prison reform and representation for lower income citizens.

Related posts

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
Sign up for