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Are There Any Alternatives to Jail After Conviction?

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If you are convicted of a crime, you may assume that you’ll be ordered to go directly to jail, without passing Go or collecting $200. However, this may not be true in every case. Some defendants may be eligible for alternatives to incarceration depending on their case. Here are some of the potential alternatives to jail and how you can get legal help after being arrested for a crime. 

Paying Restitution and Fines  

Some convicted defendants may be able to avoid serving jail time by paying fines or restitution. Typically, these are for minor crimes and misdemeanors, like shoplifting, vandalism, disorderly conduct, and trespassing. For example, a person convicted of shoplifting low-value items may be able to avoid incarceration by returning the item(s) to the store and paying a fine or restitution to compensate the store for any additional losses. 

Going to Drug and Alcohol Counseling  

You may be ordered to complete mandatory drug and/or alcohol rehabilitation if you were convicted of a crime that involved either of these substances. For example, drinking and driving or the sale of drugs are crimes that would likely result in a mandatory counseling order. 

Going On House Arrest 

In some cases where the defendant has been convicted of certain non-violent crimes, they may be eligible for house arrest instead of jail. More often than not, house arrest is an option for first-time offenders; anyone convicted of a crime who already has a past criminal history is less likely to be eligible for house arrest instead of being sentenced to jail. 

Serving the Community 

You may be ordered to complete a certain number of hours of community service, usually in conjunction with another penalty, such as mandatory counseling or probation. Community service is often tailored to the crime and the individual and is designed to help decrease the risk of recidivism. 

How a Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help You Avoid Jail Time  

An experienced criminal defense attorney is your strongest ally when it comes to the sentencing portion of the criminal process. Your lawyer can help you avoid incarceration by negotiating potential alternative penalties that may have a better chance at helping to rehabilitate versus penalize you. 

Don’t wait to get the legal help you need to stay out from behind bars. Call Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer Chad Lewin today for your initial consultation to discuss your case at (800) 458-1488.

By : Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer Chad Lewin | January 22, 2021 | Uncategorized

How Does the Los Angeles Criminal System Treat Juvenile Offenders?

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Few parents expect their child to be arrested or charged with a serious crime. Juvenile criminal cases differ substantially from adult criminal cases in California, making it even more crucial to be as prepared as possible. Here’s what you should know about how Los Angeles juvenile criminal cases are handled. 

What Causes a Criminal Offender to Be Treated As a Juvenile?

Under California SB 439, the juvenile court system has jurisdiction over a child who violated a federal, state, or municipal law if they are between the ages of 12 and 17. A minor under the age of 12 that commits a crime is generally enrolled in mental health treatment instead of being processed by the juvenile justice system. 

Trying a Juvenile Offender As An Adult 

In some cases, a juvenile defendant may be tried as an adult depending on the type of crime they are charged with and their age. For example, a minor aged 16 that committed a violent crime that resulted in the death of another person is more likely to be treated as an adult than a minor aged 10 that was caught shoplifting. 

More Key Differences Between Adult Criminal Cases and Cases Involving Minors 

To best protect your child during their upcoming criminal trial, you should have a robust understanding of what you can expect during the proceedings and how juvenile court may differ from adult court and the “standards” that many people have become accustomed to. 

For example, you should know that many of the names for certain parts of the process have been changed; a complaint is referred to as a petition, conviction is referred to as adjudication, and sentencing is a process called disposition. This can make things confusing and difficult to navigate at first, but if you know ahead of time, you won’t be in for many surprises when it’s time to show up in court. 

One disadvantage juveniles have is that they aren’t afforded a jury when their case is heard; only the judge reviews the evidence at hand and issues a verdict. However, this verdict is more likely to be rehabilitory in nature instead of a strict penalty. 

Why You Need the Help of a Seasoned Los Angeles Juvenile Defense Lawyer 

If your child is arrested or accused of a crime, their rights and future are on the line. It’s critical that you act quickly to ensure they are protected. Call Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer Chad Lewin today for your consultation at (800) 458-1488.

By : Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer Chad Lewin | January 12, 2021 | Uncategorized