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  • Former Deputy San Diego City Attorney
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Attorneys William R. Christoph & Nicholas W. Christoph

Are there alternatives in Vista Criminal cases to actual custody?

On Behalf of | Apr 11, 2014

There are alternatives in Vista Criminal cases to actual custody if custody is part of the sentence, probation was granted and there is no state prison commit.  Those alternatives vary depending on the type of case, facts of the case, defendants unique situation and qualification for the various custody programs.  These alternatives must be approved by the Judge doing the sentencing before they can be given any consideration.  Often the type of custody, if required, is discussed and negotiated as part of the plea bargain.

The most common alternative to “jail”, especially on misdemeanors, is public work service.  Public work service (pws) is run by the probation department and there is a small fee in the neighborhood of $54 to sign up once authorized in lieu of actual custody.  Usually it involves highway clean up with Cal Trans, picking up trash and wearing the orange jackets.  If you have a valid medical excuse as a result of an injury, condition or elderly, the Judge could allow you to do community service or volunteer work for any non-profit organization and file proof of completion on letterhead stationary from that organization.  It could be a charity, Boys and Girls Club, animal shelter, church, food program or any charity. Each day of jail or pws is converted to 10 hours of volunteer work, so 10 days is 100 hours in North San Diego County.

There are also programs like SCRAM, a private contract company, and CPAC (County parole and alternative custody) run by the Sheriffs Department.  Both involve wearing an electronic ankle bracelet and SCRAM can involve alcohol monitoring.  There is a charge for set up and daily monitoring to the defendant. This allows you to live at home and go to and from work, programs, school etc. as authorized by the Judge.  There is also the “work furlough” program where you live in a facility downtown San Diego and can go to and from your job, usually with public transportation but a private vehicle may be allowed.  You pay for room and board if screened and accepted a minimum of about $1200 per month.

Call Christoph Law Offices at 760-670-3885 for a free consultation and evaluation of your case.  With more than 32 years in the same office across from Vista Courts and handling exclusively DUI and Criminal cases, we understand what is necessary to achieve the best result in your case and provide you with the highest level of personal and professional criminal defense representation.



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I highly recommend Christoph Law Offices to everyone. Nick is a true professional who will go above and beyond for his clients. Thank you!
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Amazing attorneys! Bill Christoph was very helpful during my case. He was always quick to get back to me about my questions.
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