COURT WATCH: Probation Violation – Accused Sent to Jail for Ammunition Possession without Sentence Reduction

By Estrella Torres

VENTURA, CA – In a Wednesday hearing in Ventura County Superior Court, the accused was accused of violating probation—although the violation was nonviolent and was his first offense, the request to reduce his resulting sentence was denied.

The accused was found to be in violation of his probation for the possession of ammunition. There was a previously executed sentence for the accused that had been arranged.

The deputy public defender requested the court to suspend or reduce the violation sentence based on the accused’s circumstances, “in light of the fact that this is his first offense, for simple possession of ammunition, and there are not any allegations of violence or something domestic violence related or something that would cause a serious threat to public safety.”

Additionally, the DPD argued, “Again this is a simple possession offense and it seems evident that that is the primary allegation” she argues.

The prosecutor opposed the DPD’s request, stating, “The court should oppose the executed suspended sentence. We tell these defendants that a violation of the law is a violation of the law, and that they should result in a specific sentence, and that’s what should happen.”

The DA added it would “not be good judicial policy” to reduce or suspend the sentence on a violation “that serious,” referring to the possession of ammunition.

Judge David Hirsch responded promptly to the prosecutor, asserting, “I do tend to concur with that,” noting “Back in June 2023 (the accused) was informed that any probation violation execution (of the original sentence) would be imposed.”

Although Judge Hirsch considered the DPD’s argument on the “level of violation” to probation, he ultimately rejected the DPD’s request, explaining, “I disagree with the severity of this incident” when comparing it with less severe probation violations.

“If he missed a probation appointment or something like that… I may be inclined to reduce jail time, but in this case, that’s not what happened,”  Judge Hirsch continued.

On these grounds, the court order imposed the prior executed sentence for possessing ammunition and violating probation, thereby denying any sentence reduction or suspension.

About The Author

Estrella Torres is a first-generation Latina student in her 3rd year at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is pursuing a major in Political Science and a minor in Public Affairs. Estrella has a strong passion and dedication to addressing social justice issues and political activism both in her high school and university. Her positionality as a student coming from a Mexican immigrant household has fueled her to pursue career goals involved with social justice and immigration law. She hopes to help undocumented immigrants as a lawyer and promote policies that would better their lives and provide them with fair and equal opportunities. Because of this, she is planning to go on the pre-law track and foster her skills of reading, writing, analyzing, and critical thinking. She hoped to gain more experience in journalism as regards law, local government, and public policy that would further prepare her for her goals.

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