COURT WATCH: Defense Claims Enhancements to DUI Charges ‘Unconstitutional’ – Judge Sets New Hearing

By Darlin Navarrete

WOODLAND, CA – Judge Daniel M. Wolk rescheduled a plea matter here in Yolo County Superior Court Monday, after the prosecution requested to add enhancement charges to the accused on a driving under the influence charge, but the defense argued the added enhancements would be unconstitutional.

The accused is facing two misdemeanor charges: driving under the influence, drunk driving, and five enhancements that include blood alcohol or refusal of test and refusing chemical tests.

Defense attorney Mattew Becker, appearing on behalf of the accused, submitted a no-contest plea form signed and initialed by the accused to the court.

The accused admitted to high blood alcohol, dismissing the three enhancements for Count A. Upon review, Judge Wolk noticed there was a missing HBA (High Blood Alcohol) charge in the records for this case to which he amended a complaint and both the defense and prosecution agreed.

The prosecution requested the court to then assign further enhancements because the accused refused chemical testing after a warrant was issued. Defense attorney Becker responded stating, otherwise, that after the warrant was issued the accused did not refuse chemical testing.

Becker stated that it was within the accused’s constitutional rights to refuse chemical testing and added that asking to add on these enhancements was an “unconstitutional statute.”

As a result, Judge Wolk requested they return to conclude on the matters, to which defense attorney Becker replied, “I was assuming we would be done today.”

Matters for the plea of the accused were rescheduled for May 21 requesting the accused be present, remaining out of custody on his own recognizance (OR).

About The Author

Darlin Navarrete is a first-generation DACA student with a bachelor's in Political Science with a concentration in Race, Ethnicity, and Politics from UCLA. Being an honors student, Navarrete enjoys an academic challenge and aspires to attend law school and become an immigration attorney. Her passion for minority rights and representation began at a very young age where she identified injustices her family encountered and used them as outlets to expand her knowledge on immigrant rights and educate her family. Outside of academia, Navarrete loves spending time with her family, working on cars, and doing community service.

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