COURT WATCH: Judge Fined Man Almost Entire Month’s Income for Misdemeanor Charges

By Sofia Hosseinzadeh

WOODLAND, CA – Yolo County Superior Court Judge Stephen Mock this week charged a Yolo County man who claims he has low and unstable finances with fines for misdemeanor charges that come close to the accused’s entire monthly income.

On July 4, officers arrested a Yolo County man found carrying a concealed dagger and allegedly brandishing the weapon unlawfully in a “rude, angry, or threatening” manner, according to court records.

This altercation led to a felony charge for carrying a concealed weapon and a misdemeanor for showing the weapon.

Deputy District Attorney Alex Kian introduced a plea deal which the accused agreed to accept, reducing the felony charge to a misdemeanor. In exchange for the reduced charge, the accused will have to plead no contest to both misdemeanor counts.

The accused also faces a one-year sentence of probation, four days of jail, and a 10-year firearm prohibition.

Deputy Public Defender Daniel Hutchinson asked Judge Mock to be lenient with the fine because of the accused’s low and unstable income.

“He does tree work and his income varies anywhere from $500 to $1,500 a month. He describes it as hit or miss,” DPD Hutchinson stated. “I would ask the court to consider that in setting the fine.”

According to the California Superior Court, a misdemeanor fine can range up to a maximum of $1,000 dollars.

“I’m going to impose the kind of fine that’s imposed for a 415, so that’s $425,” decided Judge Mock. A “415” refers to Penal Code § 415 which refers to disturbing the peace, which a legal group claims results in a fine up to $400. 

DPD Hutchinson said the accused will need time to acquire the money for this fine because of the unreliable and varying income, and proposed a repayment plan of $25 installments each month.

Judge Wolk agreed to the repayment plan, ruling “$25 a month beginning Nov. 1 and the first of every month after that until the fine is paid in full.”

If the accused successfully fulfills the monthly payment plan, it will take 17 months for the fine to be fully paid off, in April of 2025.

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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