Alternative Sentencing

Alternative Sentencing to Avoid Jail Time in California

Contrary to popular belief, not all criminal convictions result in jail time. In California, a judge can take into consideration the circumstances of a conviction when imposing a sentence. Jail time is not always the most appropriate punishment, particularly if the defendant is a first time offender and could benefit from rehabilitation through an alternative sentence.

California Penal Code 1000 is an example of how such alternative sentencing works. The law allows first offenders in certain types of drug possession cases to avoid jail time. In order to qualify under this law, the defendant must enter a guilty plea to personal possession or use of drugs. Possession with the intent to sell, the actual sale of drugs, or any allegations of violence involved in the case would disqualify a defendant for this type of program.

Examples of alternative sentences to jail time include:

  • Suspended sentence
  • Fines
  • Probation
  • Restitution
  • Community service

Other necessities for alternative sentencing of first offense drug possession cases include attendance in classes for 6 months and no additional criminal violations over an 18-month period.

What Does Drug Diversion Mean?

The term “drug diversion” typically means that eligible defendants in a drug case can have their criminal charges dismissed if they successfully complete one of several court-approved drug treatment programs. Proposition 36 was passed by voters in California in 2000 and falls under the category of drug diversion legislation. The idea behind Prop 36, as it is commonly know, is that non-violent drug possession offenders would be able to serve time in a drug treatment program rather than jail. In order to be eligible for Prop 36 diversion, you must have been arrested for simple felony possession of drugs.

In general, if you have previously been convicted of a serious felony within five years of the non-violent drug possession offense, you would not be eligible for Prop 36 sentencing. The laws regarding who may be eligible for Prop 36 alternative sentencing are complex. The knowledgeable DUI and Criminal Defense Attorneys at Hoffman & Associates can review the facts of your case and explain Prop 36 in a simple, easy-to-understand way.

Consult With A Skilled California Defense Attorney

The DUI and Criminal Defense Attorneys at Hoffman & Associates have practiced in courtrooms throughout California for over 30 years. We understand the nuances of the law and can advise you on whether or not you would qualify for an alternative sentence or drug diversion program. Our successful track record of criminal defense benefits our clients and we fight for your rights every step of the way.

Contact us for a phone or office consultation to discuss the specifics of your case. You can reach us at 323-655-3900. We offer reasonable rates and payment plans and look forward to consulting with you.

Client Reviews
I can't begin to thank Mr. Hoffman enough for his extensive efforts throughout the entire case. He went absolutely above and beyond throughout the entire process. From day one he was immediately actively pursuing ways to prevent my case from ever going to court and once that was no longer an option, actively began working on getting the case ultimately dismissed. His communication was consistent and reassuring, despite my frantic worries all the time... Micaiah Botts
My family and I simply owe our life and future to Ron Hoffman. If you are looking for a lawyer that goes above and beyond the call of duty you can't find a better lawyer than Ron. He took my case head on from the moment I called his office. I was involved in an accidental hit and run where I was unaware of the injury. Every step of the way, Ron guided me through an almost two year long investigation and court settlement process and was constantly by my side through out every crossroad... Bill Martin
Ron Hoffman and his staff were Fantastic when dealing with such a serious issue of DUI. When I first Called Ron I was very nervous and worried for my daughter and her freedom. She had a failure to appear on top of her DUI and I knew just how bad this could be. Ron was able to immediately put me at ease and gave me the confidence that there was hope and a light at the end of the tunnel. Ron was able to get the failure to appear dismissed and also no jail time for my daughter... Claude Brown
I have been working with Mr. Hoffman for over 11 years. I have seen first hand his genuine dedication to his clients, and how his experience, knowledge and passion have gotten clients fantastic results. He treats each of his clients as his only client, and takes the time to develop detailed strategies and defenses for each individual case. I have never hesitated to refer Mr. Hoffman to anyone who has asked me for a good Criminal Defense attorney. He is a fantastic attorney!... Neeta P.
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