Lassen County District Attorney shares 2020 numbers

Lassen County District Attorney Susan Rios recently shared some updated case numbers and public safety updates during the Tuesday, Nov. 17, Lassen County Board of Supervisors meeting.

For 2020 year so far, through Oct. 31, there have been 727 cases filed, which is a little down from last year. Rios explained the court shut down impacted the numbers some.

“We’re gearing up to be close to where we finished last year,” Rios said.

Of those 727 cases, she continued, the district attorney’s office filed 637 on adults — which were 150 felony cases, and 487 misdemeanor and 76 violations of probation.

“We did see a significant decrease in juvenile offenders this year, so that actually is a good trend that we’re seeing,” she continued.

COVID-19 also had its impact on jury trials, she explained. Prior to the pandemic shut down, there were three jury trials held, and one since COVID.

“We’re still trying to figure out how our jury system is going to look moving forward with COVID restrictions,” Rio said.

The local district attorney also commented on recent senate and assembly bills the governor signed into law in a public safety trailer bill.

“There were four that caught my eye as being extremely problematic. For example, right now for general felonies, if someone is convicted of a felony and they’re placed on supervised probation, it’s for a period of three years. The legislature has determined that they should reduce that to two years,” she said.

She continued saying for misdemeanor offenses, court probation has been reduced to one year of informal supervision.

Rios also informed the supervisors on the tiered sex offender registry, in effect Jan. 1, where an offender’s duration on the registry is based on what offense they were convicted.

Moreover, she shared about the elimination of costs associated with convictions.

“We are watching all of our public safety revenues that are generated from criminal convictions just dwindle,” she said.

Rios also shared her concerns about changes to misdemeanor offenses.

“The decision whether or not to defer sentencing or conviction on a case will now be left up to the judge. There is no longer prosecutor discretion when it comes to what cases get deferred and what does not … it’s poorly written,” she said, adding it includes DUIs.

“We’re continuing to remain optimistic that next we’ll be able to get something better for public safety,” she said.