The Sonoma County DA has opposed a request to overturn the indictment of a man who represented a bogus attorney

The disappearance of a former Santa Rosa man is an important part of the argument by the Sonoma County Public Defender’s Office, which asked a judge to dismiss a 2014 DUI conviction because he and an unlicensed lawyer, the lawyers said.

Norberto Ramirez Perez’s whereabouts are unknown and he could not explain whether he understood the status of his attorney, the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office wrote in response to a request by the Public Defender’s Office to drop the charge.

“At this point the request is just a direct claim from the Defense Attorney that the accused may have been unaware of a false attorney many years ago,” argued a the prosecution said in its response, which was filed in Sonoma Superior Court on Friday.

At the end of last year, the Office of the Attorney General announced that it is believed that the charge should be dismissed. Defense attorneys are scheduled to present arguments in Sonoma County Superior Court on March 7.

The public prosecutor is opposing the request, arguing that Ramirez Perez received “a full trial” and there is no question about the truth of the evidence against him, which was presented to the jury.

Vishad Dewan, the public prosecutor handling the case, protested that the “complete trial” does not mean that Ramirez Perez had a fair trial.

“We are not saying that anything or anyone else is finished; we want justice,” said Dewan. “I’m fine with the DA’s office saying ‘Let’s go back to square one and we’re going to go after him and try to punish him.'”

Ramirez Perez was arrested after a crash that occurred around 3:30 a.m. April 15, 2013 on Highway 12 at Merced Avenue, according to the California Highway Patrol. He and his passenger were injured and hospitalized for several weeks.

She was represented by Miranda Devlin, who identified herself as a real attorney named Stephanie Martin, as the State Attorney’s Office said last year. He attended 22 hearings in the case, which occurred between 2013 and 2014.

He also represented other clients in the Bay Area under the guise of other real attorneys, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, but that all ended in November 2019 when a Marin County judge became suspicious. in his identity.

In July 2021, Devlin was indicted in US Federal Court on fraud charges involving Paycheck Protection Program loans. He was was sentenced in November of that year to 18 months in prison.

Ramirez Perez is the only Sonoma County person charged in connection with Devlin’s operation.

He served three years of his five-year sentence before being deported in 2017.

In its response to the District Attorney’s request, the District Attorney’s Office argues, “there were no direct complaints made by the District Attorney’s Office regarding in the action of Ms. Devlin at the time defendant appeared” and never attempted to locate him.

Dewan disputed that and added, “It’s very difficult to do that when we don’t have contact information for him.”

You can reach Staff Writer Colin Atagi at On Twitter @colin_atagi.

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