Alternative Sentence

While jail or prison is the punishment most people typically associate with crime, not all convictions involve this harsh penalty. California legislators, judges, prosecutors and the public all understand that justice is sometimes best served when a convicted person is able to complete a sentence outside the confines of prison/jail.
Because of this understanding, several alternative sentencing options are available in many situations. Alternative sentences provide benefits to the person, the system and to society:

  • The offender has a chance to rehabilitate himself/herself and get their life back on track.
  • The offender can avoid job loss, loss of residence, financial hardship and other problems that come from incarceration.
  • The criminal justice system benefits by reducing the number of inmates in our state’s already overcrowded prisons.
  • Society benefits because taxpayers do not have to pay for another incarceration.

At The Law Office of Stein & Markus, part of our representation will involve an evaluation of all your legal options. In situations where pleading guilty is the best option, or if you are convicted at trial, we’ll push for alternative sentencing whenever appropriate. Keeping you out of jail or prison is good for you, your family, and for the system. Our Bellflower lawyers are fully committed to achieving the best possible outcome, which is dismissal, but that’s not always possible. When a conviction of some type can’t be avoided, count on us to pursue a sentence that does as little harm as possible.

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Is an Alternative Sentence Possible in Your Case?


The availability of alternative sentences is based on your specific situation. Judges consider a wide range of factors when deciding whether you are a good candidate. For example, California judges will consider:

  • Your risks (flight risk, danger to society)
  • The nature and circumstances of the crime you’ve been convicted of (violent crimes like murder, robbery or rape make you ineligible in most cases)
  • Whether imprisonment is necessary to protect the public
  • Your previous criminal history
  • Whether your crime involved a weapon
  • Whether you are currently on probation or have failed to complete probation in the past

Types of Alternative Sentences in California

If a judge grants you an alternative sentence, you will generally be given a choice of several options for how to serve that sentence. At times, however, the judge will choose the sentence for you, or a state statute may mandate a particular sentence.
Depending on the crime for which you were convicted, California law allows a wide range of possible alternative sentences:

  • Voluntary house arrest or involuntary home detention
  • Electronic monitoring (ankle bracelet)
  • Monetary fines
  • Community service
  • Work release/Community Work Program
  • AA meetings or Narcotics Anonymous meetings in DUI or drug offense cases
  • Drug/alcohol rehab programs
  • Probation, including drug diversion probation
  • Deferred entry of judgment
  • California drug court
DUI clients talking to a criminal defense attorney

Homicide / Murder

1437 Petitions

Weapons Violations

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Drug Crimes

Alternative Sentence

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What Our Clients Say

The very best. A great person of honor, integrity, compassion and tenacity!!!!

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Mr. Markus!! Words cannot describe how grateful and appreciative we are to you and Andrew for working so hard towards my release! Forgive the delay of this message. These past 2 days have been a whirlwind of emotions and somewhat of a blur, yet it’s been indescribably humbling. I have a DIFFERENT outlook on life than I did 20 years ago. I plan to excel in my life, marriage and in all aspects of my new journey, not cutting corners or risking anything that would jeopardize my 2nd chance at life. Thanks to you I’ve been given the opportunity of a lifetime (literally)! My gratitude towards Stein & Markus is incomprehensible! Thank you once again! We will be posting on Facebook … about your outstanding work! Have a wonderful day! Forever Grateful! God Bless!

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Talk With Our Lawyers About Alternative Sentencing

With more than 75 years of combined legal experience, the Bellflower attorneys of The Law Office of Stein & Markus fully understand California’s alternative sentencing options. We will pursue the sentence that is best for you and do everything we can to show the judge why an alternative sentence makes sense in your situation.
Our Bellflower legal team offers a free consultation, so it doesn’t cost you anything to discuss your situation with an attorney. We can visit potential clients in jail if necessary. Call (562) 866-9762 or contact us online to speak with an attorney today

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