As your criminal defense attorney, our first goal is to have the charges against you dropped. Absent that, we might work to find the best possible outcome for your case – which could include an alternative sentencing option. Keep reading to learn five such alternative sentencing options, then contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 for a free legal consultation.
- Community Service
- Home Detention
- A Drug Diversion Program
- Prop 36
This involves a person performing free labor in their community or neighborhood. A person generally serves community service to prevent having to pay heft fines or to stay out of jail. Judges can choose what type of community service a defendant is required to do, but it must benefit the community and be directly connected to the crime the accused committed.
In some cases, the person convicted of a crime can be held in their own home rather than going to jail or prison. This is known as house arrest, electronic monitoring, or home detention. There are generally additional requirements, such as curfews, random drug testing, and home visits with a parole or probation officer. The judge can also allow the defendant to go to school, work, travel to medical appointments, attend family events, and receive counseling for mental health and/or substance abuse issues.
If a person is charged with what is known as a low-level drug crime, then the court might decide that a drug diversion program is the best option. Formally known as a deferred entry of judgment, this program today can dismiss a person’s charges after they successfully complete the requirements of an assigned drug treatment program. When their charge is dismissed, the defendant does not have a criminal record.
Passed more than twenty years ago, Proposition 36, often referred to as Prop 36, is a sentencing initiative that requires that certain eligible non-violent drug offenders serve time in a drug treatment program and not in prison or jail. Unlike a drug diversion program, Prop 36 requires that the defendant plead guilty, and they will have the charge on their criminal record. However, they will not have to spend time in jail or prison.
If sentenced to probation, you will serve most or all of your sentence under court supervision instead of in jail or prison. There are two types – misdemeanor probation and felony probation. You will have to meet many conditions of probation, which might vary based on your situation. For example, you will likely have to talk to or meet with your probation officer on a regular basis, maintain employment, and submit to random drug testing.
If you are facing a criminal charge and require help from an experienced attorney, contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 now for a free legal consultation.