COURT WATCH: Accused Charged with Multiple Misdemeanors Kept in Custody 

By Audrey Sawyer and Quinn Hogan

WOODLAND, CA — A man accused with multiple misdemeanors involving driving on a suspended license, drunk driving, and damaging personal property was kept in custody here Monday after a hearing in Yolo County Superior Court.

Deputy Public Defender Christopher Conde explained prior allegations of drunk driving were currently pending cases, but Judge Catherine Hohenwarter ruled that, for the purpose of arraignment, the charges have to be assumed to be true.

Deputy District Attorney Ashley Harvey described the charge as the accused’s fourth DUI, and argued that he was a danger to the public and should therefore be remanded in custody.

Harvey added, “It is his fourth DUI since March 2022. His first was on March 22 with a conviction date of June 2022. There is an arrest for December 2022 in Yolo County with two other DUIs in the county. We are asking for a remand as he (accused) is a public safety risk.”

DPD Conde admitted there is an alleged prior DUI conviction, but did not agree to prosecution claims this was the accused’s fourth DUI, since three are pending and there ought to be an assumption of innocence.

“There are no enhancements alleging any injury or any sort of danger to any specific person in these cases. He (accused) is a field worker who provides money for his children back in Mexico (who are) 13 and 14 years old living with a relative. They depend on him financially. If he were in custody, it would interfere with their livelihoods,” DPD Conde added.

DPD Conde noted the court had imposed supervised release terms such as SCRAM and AA meetings previously, suggesting the accused would again agree with any such terms, or any other “less restrictive” means of monitoring while his other cases were pending.

Judge Hohenwarter acknowledged Conde’s point that two of the accused’s three prior DUI’s were pending charges rather than convictions. However, she stated that, for the purposes of arraignment, the facts of a case as presented had to be assumed to be true.

“He is driving under the influence where it includes a hit and run regarding property damage, possession of containers while driving, and hitting construction cones. We find him to be a danger to the public based on the blood alcohol content being .23 or greater while behind the wheel,” said the judge.

It was briefly noted the construction cones were actually in a separate case, but the rest of the facts were accurate, according to DDA Harvey.

Bail was set at $5,000 for each case, adding up to a total of $15,000.

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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