What are Alternative Sentencing Options?

Alternative sentencing is when a person completes his/her criminal sentencing within the community (from their home) rather than in the custody of a state prison or county jail. Alternative sentencing options in California are carried out through a community or state program and are often incorporated into a plea agreement or awarded to a guilty plea.

These are five of the most common types of alternative sentencing in the state of California for criminal cases:

  • Community service
  • Home detention
  • Drug diversion programs
  • Drug treatment programs
  • Probation

Alternative sentencing is beneficial for defendants because they are typically able to maintain their employment, receive the help they need to overcome addiction, and/or get a more effective type of rehabilitation.

Alternative sentencing also benefits the California justice system to keep from adding to the already overcrowded jails and prisons.

Not everyone is eligible to receive alternative sentencing in the state of California. Some of the requirements include

  • Whether you are currently on probation or parole for a previous crime
  • Your prior success or failure to complete parole or probation
  • If your current offense included a weapon
  • Whether you have been charged with a violent crime, such as murder, rape, or robbery
  • Your criminal history

If you have been convicted of a criminal offense or are facing criminal charges, your first step is to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney in Orange County, CA. Your attorney can advocate on your behalf with law enforcement, protect you from incriminating yourself, and help you build a strong defense if charges are brought by a prosecutor.

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