June 26, 2007 By Wallin & Klarich

If you’ve committed a crime in California, the District Attorney or local Prosecutor have several available options designed to punish you for your actions.

These options range from placing you on probation, ordering you to pay a fine, requiring you to complete classes including: anger management, alcohol or substance abuse classes, or traffic school, among others, depending on the nature of your offense.

In more serious cases, the District Attorney can order you to complete a specified period of time in jail. I’m certain Paris Hilton is not the only person who does not want to be confined in a jail cell. Just because the District Attorney wants you to complete jail time, does not mean that is what will ultimately happen to you. There are many better, less burdensome, and far less scary alternatives to serving time in jail to pay for your actions. Among these alternatives are performing community service, performing work for the California Department of Transportation by picking up trash in parks, on beaches, and the side of the roadways throughout California. In some cases you can spend time in a rehabilitation facility if your offense involved alcohol or drugs. If the Prosecutor insists on you spending time in jail, your attorney can negotiate to have you serve the time on weekends, so you can continue to work and provide for your family. Many counties also offer private pay to stay facilities that will allow you to leave each day and return each night after you have completed your work day. Also, electronic monitoring or home confinement are available options to jail time. Or, if money you have and time you do not, your attorney might be able to negotiate a heavy fine in exchange for jail time.

All of these options are not available in every case, but there are other options depending on which county you live in and what programs or facilities they offer. Contact a local attorney who knows what alternatives to jail are available so you can work on a plan to keep you out!

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