I Have a Criminal Case in California and I Want It to Go Away. What Can I Do?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 15, 2021

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Unfortunately, criminal cases, especially serious ones, do not simply go away by themselves. If
you are charged with any crime in California, it is never advisable to represent yourself. There
are too many adverse consequences at stake’ loss of driver’s license, restraining orders, loss of
right to possess firearms, loss of professional licenses, loss of certain government benefits,
loss of employment, heavy fines and of course, jail or prison.

Whether or not you are actually guilty of the acts alleged, a case can often times be resolved
and therefore “go away.” A resolution or settlement is the result of what is commonly known
as “plea bargaining.”

People enter into a plea bargain for many reasons. It is not always because they are guilty.
Often times a person wants the case to simply “go away” as quickly as possible and as painlessly
as possible. Other times, a person is accused of many charges and enters into a settlement so that
more serious charges are dropped in exchange for accepting responsibility for significantly lesser

A criminal defense attorney in California can obtain creative alternative sentences. These
alternatives might include drug diversion, drug treatment and counseling, anger management,
community service, sex compulsion classes, psychological counseling, continuing education and, of
course, probation. It may also include alternative institutions to prison or jail. Cases can get
settled by good lawyering and creativity.

Most clients want their case settled and most cases can be settled. When choosing an attorney,
be careful not to pay huge fees to prepare for trial when you can settle your case in a manner
acceptable to you – for a price you can afford.

A good lawyer listens to the client and determines the client’s ultimate goals in regard to the
criminal case. In many cases, the lawyer needs to “think outside the box” in order to settle the
case and to determine possible alternatives and creative sentences that will work for each client.
There is no such thing as a typical case or a typical sentence. There is no such thing as a
typical client. Each client has specific needs, issues and desires. The lawyer needs to identify
these needs, apply the possible alternatives, and provide a settlement that each client can live

Creative & Alternative Sentences: In California, there exist many types of creative
sentences and alternatives to state prison and jail that are rarely explored by individuals.
Examples are electronic home detention or monitoring, private jails & weekend custody programs
(instead of county jail), work furlough programs, in-patient facilities for direct treatment for
mental disease, psychological issues, alternative lifestyles, substance abuse, half-way houses, 90-
day diagnostic facilities (instead of state prison), drug & alcohol treatment and counseling
programs, anger management classes, community service, sex compulsion classes, psychological
counseling, continuing education, restitution center (facilities) and probation.

Investigators: Thorough criminal investigations are crucial. Many attorneys do not use
investigators until trial. Often times, investigations can assist in settling a case early and
getting certain charges lessened, charges changed, or charges dismissed entirely.

Experts: Experts are brought in to investigate,
test, review, evaluate, analyze and consult on your case. Traditionally, experts are used to
educate jurors at trial. It is important to provide prosecutors with a reason to settle your case.
You need to show prosecutors what type of person you really are. Expert reports and evaluations
are crucial pieces in obtaining successful results to your case.

align=left>Content courtesy of The
Karpel Law Group

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