COURT WATCH: Accused Kept in Jail on Misdemeanor – Can’t Pay $1,000 Bail 

By Audrey Sawyer and Maeve O’Brien

WOODLAND, CA —  In an arraignment for misdemeanor assault likely to produce great bodily injury in Yolo County Superior Court Monday, Judge Daniel Wolk set the accused’s bail at $1,000 and, because the accused couldn’t pay it, continued to hold him in jail.

The defense informed the court the accused does not have a source of income and cannot afford to post bail, but Deputy District Attorney Carolyn Palumbo rejected the argument, alleging the accused had previously violated probation, and claimed there was  a “history of violence.”

The case will go to trial on April 2—the accused could be in custody for nearly a month, even if the accused is not guilty.

“Given the fact that the accused has no income, he has no ability to post bail. In light of the charges, I would ask that he be released from custody for his future court date,” Deputy Public Defender Jose Gonzalez requested of the court.

In response, DDA Palumbo objected. “He has violated his probation. He has then picked up this misdemeanor charge. We are objecting due to his history of violence.”

DDA Palumbo added that if the court were to release the accused on his own recognizance with no bail, she is requesting for a stay away for the alleged victim in the case.

However, DPD Gonzalez did not believe it to be appropriate to keep the accused in custody, arguing, “I think that with the restraining order, for the court to ensure safety in this case, we know that even in felony cases for there to be liberty and clear evidence that keeping someone in custody is appropriate. This is a misdemeanor. I do not think that the record shows that the court ought to keep him in custody.”

Judge Wolk, citing the provided probation report, arguments from both counsels, and reviewing the arrest report and complaint, ultimately sided with the prosecution.

The judge ruled, “The court determines that $1,000 is reasonable to protect the public and to see him come to court, it does not appear that he cannot afford the amount of bail. I find by evidence that any lesser amount of bail will not reasonably protect the public, so that is why bail is set at $1,000.”

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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2 Comments

  1. Dave Hart

    “Can’t pay” or “Won’t pay”?  Judge Wolk appears to have information that the defendant could make bail.  So why the misleading title here?

    1. David Greenwald

      There is clearly a dispute over whether he can pay it. Judge Wolk determined that he could pay. The defense claimed otherwise. The fact that is he is going to stay in custody hints that Wolk could be wrong.

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