Judging from her reaction she wasn’t expecting it. Michelle Alvarado, 29, of Lexington Park was sentenced Friday in St. Mary’s County Circuit Court to four months in jail after pleading guilty to two counts of Driving a Motor Vehicle While impaired by Controlled Dangerous Substances. The sentencing judge Karen Abrams noted Alvarado’s surprise. The judge said, “I don’t think you are ready for it (release) yet.”

Alvarado’s attorney Kenneth McPherson argued passionately for his client that she had learned her lesson with her 31 days in jail and that she was ready to right her life. The woman admittedly has a
“crack cocaine problem,” but the attorney said she was now drug free.

But Judge Abrams noted that Alvarado had been admitted to the hospital for a drug overdose as recently as last October. The judge said, “You don’t understand that addiction is a life-long disease. Recovery is letting people help you. I am worried about you — when you are finally going to get it.”

The judge observed that people could have been seriously injured as the result of her driving behavior. She was also charged with Neglect of a Minor because one of her children was in the car with her in the two incidents which happened just two days apart. The neglect charges were dropped.

McPherson told the judge that his client’s problems had escalated as the result of a custody battle with her ex-husband over two of her children. One of her children lives with her and her mother. When the sentence was announced Alvarado quickly huddled with her attorney and then he asked the judge if the “Go to Jail Card” could be delayed until the end of the day so she could make arrangements for the child while she is in jail.

The judge granted the delay. The judge gave her credit for the 31 days served. Alvarado will be on three year’s supervised probation after her release. The judge also refused a request to allow Alvarado to resume her driving privilege after she is released.