If you are facing criminal charges in California, it is helpful to know that this does not mean you will be automatically sent to prison. Under California law, there are different types of consequences for criminal behavior and it does not always include incarceration. These different types of sentences for a criminal conviction are referred to as alternative sentencing.
Types of Alternative Sentencing
When a judge agrees to alternative sentencing, meaning you won't be going to jail for your criminal conviction, they take several factors into account. The judge will take the needs of the defendant into account, consider the type of crime the defendant was charged with, and also look at the defendant's criminal history. Then, depending on these circumstances, the judge will decide on which type of alternative sentencing is best. Different types of alternative sentencing include:
- Electronic monitoring--this is done through a gps monitor that tracks location
- House Arrest--you must stay at your home, with few exceptions, for a specific period of time
- Community service--providing service within the community instead of jail time
- Therapy, anger management, or other treatment programs--completing therapy, anger management classes or drug/alcohol treatment programs can be an alternative to incarceration in some circumstances
- Probation--probation can be supervised or unsupervised. If supervised, you will report to a probation officer.
- Drug court or Drug Diversion--this is an option for certain non-violent drug offenses. The two main types of drug diversion in California are known as Prop. 36 Probation and PC-1000 Deferred Entry of Judgement.
Benefits of Alternative Sentencing
Alternative sentencing can be a great option for defendants--the opportunity to avoid spending time in jail has several benefits including allowing defendants to keep their jobs, keep attending school, take care of their families, and continue on with their lives. successful completion of some alternative sentencing like drug diversion may may result in dismissal of charges or no charges at all.
If you or someone you care about is facing criminal charges it is important to speak to a skilled Southern California criminal defense attorney who understands when alternative sentencing may be available and who will fight to help you get it. At the Kann California Law Group we offer free case consultations--we can go over the details of your case to see if you have alternative sentencing options available. Contact us today at 888-744-7730!