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Cop pleads not guilty to DUI, other charges

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VIROLANSON Castro Secharmidal pleaded not guilty to the charges of driving under the influence, reckless driving, failure to remain at the scene of an accident, and failure to drive the right half of highway at an arraignment on Thursday morning.

Secharmidal, 22, was not arrested but a penal summons was issued by the court for him to respond to the charges. He appeared before Superior Court Presiding Judge Roberto C. Naraja.

Secharmidal told the court that he is still working although he was listed as one of the furloughed employees of the Department of Public Safety.

After a discussion regarding his income, family status, and waiving his rights and reading of the charges, Judge Naraja appointed the Public Defender’s Office to represent the defendant, and entered a not guilty plea for Secharmidal.

Assistant Public Defender Carrie Comstock requested the court for a status conference, which the court granted and scheduled for Aug. 12, 2020 at 1:30 p.m.

At the hearing, Assistant Attorney General Steven Kessel appeared for the government.

Court information obtained by Variety stated that on May 3, 2020, Secharmidal operated a vehicle upon a highway while having a Blood Alcohol Concentration or BAC of 0.08 as measured by breath or blood test.

DUI is punishable by 72 hours’ imprisonment and a fine of $500 and suspension of the privilege to operate a motor vehicle for not less than 30 days nor more than six months.

Secharmidal was also cited for reckless driving. According to the AG’s office, he “drove or operated a motor vehicle upon a highway in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property by failing to control his speed or by speeding in gross excess of the posted speed limit or by failing to keep a proper lookout or a combination of these traffic violations, which resulted in his car colliding with a concrete utility pole.”

Reckless driving is punishable by a maximum of $1,000 fine or by imprisonment of not more than six months. The defendant must also attend a course in driver education.

Failure to remain at the scene of an accident is punishable by imprisonment of not more than six months or by a fine of not more than $500 or both.

Failure to drive the right half of highway is punishable by a fine of not more than $100 for first conviction; for a second or any subsequent conviction within a period of one year, it is punishable by a fine of not more than $250.

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