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DUI, drug sentencing delayed in former California deputy case

Posted on in DUI Drugs

A former Orange County deputy was scheduled for sentencing Friday after pleading guilty in April to 12 felonies. Before the sentencing hearing, a court bailiff reportedly told prosecutors the 37-year-old man smelled of alcohol. The sentencing hearing was postponed and the judge increased bail from $100,000 to $250,000 in the matter.

The man pled guilty to nine felony counts for lying to doctors to obtain prescription drugs, two counts of selling fake drugs and one felony DUI charge. The man also pled guilty to a sentencing enhancement for causing great bodily harm in a March 1, 2010 DUI accident.

Police had claimed the man was involved in two separate accidents within 33 minutes. Deputies had let the man leave after the first accident without allegations of DUI arising. The man pled guilty to causing great bodily injury in the second accident. Deputies investigating the second accident arrested the man on suspicion of a California DUI.

Authorities say the man is scheduled for a hearing Wednesday and may be sentenced at that time. Prosecutors say there will not be any further charges filed related to the allegations of appearing drunk at Friday's sentencing hearing.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department conducted an investigation after Friday's hearing. Law enforcement had no basis to compel a breath or blood sample in order to test for alcohol as the man was not driving and no other basis for a lawful alcohol test was available. Prosecutors admit that insufficient evidence exists to support a theory the man was drunk in public. Prosecutors said Tuesday that no charges will be filed related to Friday's allegations.

The deputy had been placed on administrative leave in January and was fired from his job in June.

Source: OC Register, "Ex-deputy who appeared to be drunk in court won't be charged," Vik Jolly 14 Jun 2011

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