San Diego Alternative Sentences to Imprisonment

Attorney you hire for your case should be familiar with alternative sentencing structures. If fact, your defense counsel has an ethical obligation to explore and propose creative sentencing alternatives to the court.

American Bar Association Standard 4-8.1 states (a) Defense counsel should, at the earliest possible time, be or become familiar with all of the sentencing alternatives available to the court and with community and other facilities which may be of assistance in a plan for meeting the accused’s needs.

The Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 (the “Act”) envisioned sentences other than imprisonment as “generally appropriate[ ] . . . in cases in which the defendant is a first offender who has not been convicted of a crime of violence or an otherwise serious offense.”  Alternative sentencing options were further expanded by the Anti-Drug Abuse Amendment Act of 1988, which authorized the use of home detention and electronic monitoring in certain cases. 

That being said, the creative resolution alternatives are only limited by your attorneys imagination and experience. Many judges are very open to the idea of fashioning a sentence that meets your medical/mental treatment, educational, medical and work-related needs.  An alternative many include weekends in jail, half way house, work furlough, residential reentry program, home detention with or without electronic monitoring, drug/alcohol monitoring, in-patient and out-patient drug and alcohol programs. 

All your attorney needs to do is create a concrete plan and present this plan to the judge in the most persuasive way. In some cases, your attorney may also need to hire experts to show that prison is not a right sentence for you. LAWSTACHE™ LAW FIRM routinely works with psychologists and family therapists in writing reports on our clients’ mental health being if sent to prison/jail. A family therapist may provide insight on adverse effect on the behavioral health of a child whose parent may be sent to prison.  We include these reports in our mitigation packet to the judge when fashioning an alternative plea or after a jury trial sentence.  We also include research on why imprisonment promotes racial disparity, unfairness, and mental sickness.


If you have been charged with Federal or State violation in Southern California, Nevada, or Utah, contact LAWSTACHE™ LAW FIRM. Attorneys Anton Vialtsin and Jeremy Delicino have experience protecting those accused of federal and state crimes. Our office is conveniently located in downtown San Diego. We also have offices in Nevada and Utah. You can reach our San Diego office by calling (619) 357-6677 or by sending an e-mail.

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