COURT WATCH: Accused Faces Additional Felony Charges for DUI, Criminal DUI Record Dating Back 20 Years

By Maeve Haggerty

WOODLAND, CA- In a DUI (driving under the influence) arraignment hearing in Yolo County Superior Court last week, the accused was charged with a DUI misdemeanor, and with previous DUIs dating back 20 years, now felonies, as noted by the prosecution in requesting the court issue a SCRAM device (ankle monitor).

The accused explained they had not been arrested in many years and Judge Catherine Hohenwarter denied the request to issue a SCRAM device, citing insufficient evidence of the accused posing a risk to public safety.

The full list of the accused’s charges included driving with a suspended license (misdemeanor), operating a vehicle without the ignition interlock device (misdemeanor), driving under the influence within 10 years of a prior felony (felony), and driving under the influence within seven years of three or more convictions (felony).

There were also two enhancements added to the list of charges, one for excessive blood alcohol content or refusal to be tested and one for “circumstances in aggravation,” according to court records.

The accused expressed concern upon hearing the charges, and explained they were led to believe they would only be charged with a misdemeanor at the time of arrest.

Deputy District Attorney Jose Figueroa cited the accused’s “long documented history of DUIs” in arguing the accused is a risk to public safety and requested the judge issue a SCRAM device. DDA Figueroa brought up prior DUIs from the 2000s and 2010s in making this argument.

Judge Hohenwarter denied the request to issue a SCRAM device, ruling insufficient evidence that proved the accused is a risk to public safety, stating the risk the accused posed would be evaluated at the preliminary hearing.

The court noted that because of the accused’s prior convictions, what would otherwise be charged as a misdemeanor has two felony charges attached to it.

The accused was released on their own recognizance (no bail). The preliminary hearing was set for June 18.

About The Author

Maeve Haggerty is a second year student at the University of Vermont pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and Global Studies. As an intern with the Davis Vanguard Court Watch, Maeve hopes to deepen her understanding of the criminal justice system, the law, and the reforms that are necessary to create a more just system. She is passionate about writing and studying political systems in order to improve social justice issues.

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