A man who pleaded no contest to walking out on checks at restaurants in Pasadena, California, surrendered to police in January, 2019, to serve his 120-day jail sentence. The man, aged 45, allegedly used numerous first dates as an opportunity to not pay for meals at multiple restaurants. In addition to a jail sentence, the man was ordered to pay $240 in restitution to victims and to stay 100 yards away from five restaurants.
Misdemeanors account for about 80 percent of the criminal dockets in California and around the country. Misdemeanors are minor crimes punished by fines, probation or short jail sentences, but the way these sanctions are handed down has been criticized by civil rights groups and criminal justice researchers. Much has been written in recent years about sentencing disparities between white and black defendants in felony drug cases, but studies reveal that these imbalances are even more pronounced in misdemeanor cases.
A 31-year-old California man has been sentenced to state prison for two years for selling cocaine out of his home. He pleaded guilty to multiple charges in December and was sentenced on January 3. Apparently, the plea agreement did not dismiss any of the charges.
A California state law requiring people who are convicted of DUIs to install ignition interlock mechanisms in their vehicles went into effect on Jan. 1. The law was signed by the governor in 2016. In order to get back their privileges to drive, people who have DUI convictions will have to install the devices, which are essentially a Breathalyzer connected to the vehicle's ignition system, preventing the car from starting if the driver has been drinking.