COURT WATCH: Court Sets Bail of $50,000 for Man Accused of Felony DUI

By Quinn Hogan and Vy Tran

WOODLAND, CA — A man accused of felony driving under the influence (DUI) and possession of a narcotic controlled substance continued to be held in custody in county jail after an arraignment Friday in Yolo County Superior Court.

Judge Catherine Hohenwarter’s ruling was made despite the defense request the accused be released and allowed to continue working and attending school.

The deputy public defender stressed that the accused is a father of five, a student and a financial supporter for his five children and their mother through his work as a power lineman, arguing the accused should be released on his own recognizance/no bail with some supervision.

The deputy district attorney requested the accused be held in custody without bail, citing both public safety and the man’s suggested inability to come to court.

The man is accused of having driven under the influence of fentanyl, and was allegedly found unresponsive behind the wheel of his vehicle after driving off the road. No one was injured. This current charge comes within 10 years of a previous felony charge.

The DDA argued the accused presented a threat to public safety, claiming the accused was addicted to fentanyl and might engage in more dangerous behavior if he were released.

“I don’t think there’s any evidence that shows that less restrictive means would be insufficient,” responded the defense, arguing the accused could be safely released with the stipulations that he would be supervised and required to submit to random drug testing.

Prosecution also expressed concerns about the accused’s ability to make it to court dates because the accused lives in a different county and would not be able to drive because of a suspended license.

“Concerns about not coming to court are purely speculative,” replied the DPD, explaining the mother of the man’s children had already agreed to drive him to any future court dates. The DPD also noted that the accused did not have any history of missing court.

The DPD also mentioned that since the accused is currently a college student, being held in custody would interfere not only with his ability to provide for his family, but with his ability to continue his education.

Judge Hohenwarter indicated she was not concerned about the accused’s ability to come to court, but that she was “concerned about (the accused) using drugs and driving and potentially killing someone.”

Hohenwarter addressed the accused directly and emphasized the negative consequences that driving while intoxicated can have, echoing the DDA’s assertion he was making “poor choices.

“The court does take into consideration that (the accused) is in school and seems to have a decent job,” continued Judge Hohenwarter. She then denied the defense request for supervised OR, and set bail at $50,000. The entire proceeding took less than 10 minutes.

About The Author

Quinn Hogan is a rising senior at the University of Vermont, where he studies English and Political Science and works as a writing tutor. He is a lifelong writer and storyteller with passions for journalism and social justice. He plans to continue writing after undergrad as a journalist or novelist (or both). Quinn loves talking to strangers, rescuing worms, reading books by Susanna Clarke and Jeff VanderMeer, and playing games with overly complicated rules. He is also a musician and songwriter.

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