Update: ‘Highway 17 Six’ Set to Appear in Court April 8

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The six UCSC students arrested on Highway 17 are suspended from the university until fall 2016. Photo by Stephen De Ropp.
The six UCSC students arrested on Highway 17 are suspended from the university until fall 2016. Photo by Stephen De Ropp.

The UC Santa Cruz “Highway 17 Six” will reappear in court for their next court date on April 8 at 10 a.m. Santa Cruz Superior Court Judge Denine Guy said the possibility of restitution may be discussed during the proceedings.

Santa Cruz public defender Alyssa Thompson declined to comment on the specifics of the students’ cases, but said restitution in criminal cases means paying for the harm caused to the victim, which can sometimes include the cost of emergency response services involved in the case. The cost of emergency response services is usually the wages of the responders multiplied by the hours they spent on-scene and writing up reports afterward.

“Criminal defendants have a right to a hearing in front of a judge about the amount of money being asked of them,” Thompson said. “During the hearing, the victim will typically present documents explaining the costs, and the defendant can argue the costs were unreasonably high or unrelated to the incident, or some other defense.”

On March 18 during a pretrial conference, four of the six students arrested on March 3 during the protest that blocked Highway 17 pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanors of creating a public nuisance and resisting arrest. The other two students had already appeared in court and pleaded not guilty on March 5. The two charges could also carry up to one year in jail.

The six students are suspended from UCSC until September 2016.