Even in the case of a conviction, a plea bargain or criminal mistrial, a skilled California criminal defense attorney tries to obtain alternatives to jail for their clients. Alternatives to jail include:
- Electronic Monitoring
- Work Release or Work Furlough
- City Jail
- Alcohol or Drug Rehabilitation
- Sober Living
An experienced California criminal attorney fully explores each of these options, and bases his goals on the individual facts of each case.
- City Jail: Usually costs money, but typically a much more pleasant experience than jail. Also known as “private jail.”
- Work Furlough: This allows you to keep your job and go work and make a living during the day. At night, however, you sleep in a dormitory-style facility, and then go to your own work once again during the day.
- Work Release: This involves working at a site determined by the Probation Department. You work during the day, but get to go home at night to sleep.
- Electronic Monitoring: Also known as “House Arrest.” This involves wearing an ankle bracelet that electronically monitors the whereabouts of the wearer. What most people do not know is that the wearer can usually go to work or to school, but must be home at an appointed time.
- Alcohol or Drug Rehabilitation: Sometimes a DUI or drug related arrest is merely the symptom of an underlying addiction issue. For those cases, rehabilitation is a much more attractive option than jail. A skilled criminal defense lawyer will know how to obtain this type of relief for his clients. The defense attorney should stress to the prosecution and the judge that this is a much better solution than jail, and in cases of addiction, a superior alternative.
- Sober Living: These are houses, both for men and women, where all of the residents are sober and must maintain sobriety to stay in the house. The structure of each house is different, but residents are usually required to attend a 12-Step meeting daily, participate in house groups, and perform chores. For those people that are multiple offenders and have not responded to past attempts at treatment, this environment may greatly improve the quality of their life. This can often be utilized by skilled California criminal defense attorneys to help their client avoid lengthy jail sentences.
Other States With Similar Programs
Many of these options are also similar to the Texas pre-trial intervention programs mentioned in one of our previous articles. Even though Lazarine Law is not associated with this firm or website, we have kindly borrowed his YouTube video for a brief explanation.