COURT WATCH: Judge Still Adds More Jail Time for Man with Dramatic Change in Circumstances  

By Audrey Sawyer

MODESTO, CA — A violation of probation hearing was held here Tuesday in Stanislaus County Superior Court for a man for “failure to surrender,” and still resulted in more jail time for the accused despite a major change in the accused’s life.

While Deputy Public Defender Amy Konstantelos tried explaining to the court that the accused’s circumstances (no longer being homeless, having a job) are different from when the incident had occurred, Judge Linda McFadden referenced “evading a police officer/resisting arrest.”

The accused will now serve an additional 90 days on top of the 180 already to serve.

Defense Attorney Konstantelos declared the circumstances that have changed for the accused are a great improvement, saying that the accused is no longer homeless and is now renting, and has found employment.

Judge McFadden noted the accused was not in court, but DPD Konstantelos told the court he “could have run but that he wants to take responsibility.”

DPD Konstantelos requested the additional days to be lowered and for the court to come back at a later date so that they could provide proof of the accused’s previous homelessness.

“The charge is for evading a police officer. This does not give me a lot of hope that he (accused) will show up again. It is not like he pled to camping unlawfully, or to trespassing unlawfully because he is homeless. He had a car. He was under the influence. It does take some money to get alcohol as well,” Judge McFadden started.

“He was supposed to surrender in August, he waited to get arrested, and then he got bailed out before taking care of this. This causes me great concern for his willingness to return,” Judge McFadden articulated.

Judge McFadden said the accused knew he was on formal probation, and that she was the same judge who had taken his plea.

The judge asked DPD Konstantelos: “Did he show to court between the 1st and the 15th of each month? I make myself pretty clear. I spend a lot of extra time making sure that they understand. If there are questions, I answer them.”

The DPD denied the violation of probation and wanted to come back in two weeks with proof. While Judge McFadden told him that he can come back with his proof, she will remand the accused, and the case is put over for admit/deny and credit calculation.

The accused “made the choice to plead, to not surrender, and to flee from the police. This is now the court’s choice.” Judge McFadden concluded.

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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