West Sacramento Woman Arrested 3 Times in 4 Days after being Released on $0 Bail
Photo: Melinda Gonzales
Originally published as a Yolo County District Attorney press release –
(Woodland, CA) – November 2, 2020 –West Sacramento woman, Melinda Gonzales, has been charged with multiple felonies after being arrested on three separate occasions in four days following her release from jail $0 Bail. Gonzales, 47, was originally arrested by the West Sacramento Police Department on August 2, 2020, on four warrants.
As a result of the Yolo County’s Superior Court continued use of the Emergency Bail Schedule adopted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, she was released on $0 bail and given a future court date of November 17, 2020.
Ms. Gonzales was cited by the West Sacramento police on October 9, 2020, for possession of drug paraphernalia and trespassing.
On October 29, 2020, she was arrested by the West Sacramento Police Department for False Personation, Driving Under the Influence of Drugs, False Information to Peace Officer and Hit and Run. She was released the same day on $0 bail.
Two days later, Ms. Gonzales was again arrested by the West Sacramento Police Department for petty theft. She was released on the morning of November 1, 2020, and arrested hours later by the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office for Burglary, Possession of Stolen, Property, Petty theft, False Information to a Peace Officer, Trespassing, and Looting.
Because looting is one of the thirteen exceptions to the $0 Bail, bail was set and she remained in custody.
Ms. Gonzales is scheduled to appear in the Yolo County Superior Court on November 4, 2020, for arraignment on the following charges: False Personation, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Unauthorized entry into a Dwelling, Looting, Theft of a Vehicle, Commercial Burglary, Felony Vandalism, three counts of False Information to a Peace Officer, Misdemeanor Vandalism, Driving Under the Influence of Drugs, Hit and Run, two counts of Petty theft, and Trespass.
As a result of Yolo County’s continued use of $0 Bail, over 390 new crimes have been committed. In April, the California Judicial Council imposed the $0 Bail Schedule in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although rescinded in June, the Yolo County Superior Court continues to use the Statewide Emergency Bail Schedule. There is no announced end date for the use of the Emergency Bail Schedule.
Since April 13, 2020, 349 individuals have been arrested and released on $0 Bail a total of 411 times. Of those, 124 individuals have reoffended at least one time with several having reoffended multiple times. The individuals who have reoffended since their release on $0 Bail in Yolo County have committed over 390 new crimes in Yolo County alone. Those new crimes include 158 felonies and 232 misdemeanors, including crimes such as Attempted Murder, Assault with a Deadly Weapon or Assault by Means of Force Likely to Product Great Bodily Injury (14 new victims), Robbery (5 new victims), Burglary (22 new victims), felony domestic violence (5 new victims), possession of an assault weapon, gang crimes, and dozens of other new felony and misdemeanor crimes.
The Emergency Bail Schedule only looks at the arresting offense and releases individuals on $0 bail, even those on probation or parole, without conducting a risk assessment for dangerousness. Additionally, upon release on $0 bail, offenders are given a court date 4-5 months in the future. This makes it nearly impossible to assess those individuals who are homeless, suffer from a substance use disorder, or from a serious mental illness in order to enroll them into one of the county’s diversion programs such as mental health court or addiction intervention court.