Law Offices of William V. Pernik

Commitment. Determination. Results

(831) 222-3922

Available 24/7

MENTAL ILLNESS AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE ISSUES IN CRIMINAL DEFENSE

WE ARE ON YOUR SIDE

Individuals and families affected by mental illness and substance abuse often face difficult life challenges. These circumstances can impact their ability to secure housing, maintain their income, and live with the dignity to which they are entitled.

Left untreated and unsupported, mental illness and substance abuse can also bring a person within the jurisdiction of a criminal court. Many of the clients we have represented over the years have suffered from mental illness, substance abuse, or have a developmental disability. Our former and current clients include persons born with genetic disorders, intellectually disabled adults, sexual assault and other trauma victims, and Veterans of U.S. Armed Forces with profound mental health and substance abuse issues stemming from their time in the service.

If you or your loved one is charged with a crime and has a serious mental health issue or severe substance abuse disorder, it is important to work with an attorney like William Pernik who understands how mental illness, developmental disability, and substance abuse can affect a criminal case. In many cases requiring certain types of criminal intent as an element of the crime, mental illness or severe substance abuse disorder could help establish a defense; almost always, it can be a factor in mitigation of the crime for purposes of plea bargaining with the prosecution and sentencing.

Most counties, including Monterey County, have specialized courts or programs for mentally ill or substance addicted defendants, completion of which may result in a total or partial dismissal of the case, sentencing leniency, and vastly different probation experience. Some populations (such as veterans and developmentally disabled persons) may qualify for a diversion as a matter of California law.

Here to Help

We are equipped to handle complex criminal cases involving mental health and substance abuse issues. Caring for clients who suffer from mental illness, drug or alcohol abuse, or who are developmentally disabled has been our passion and our professional privilege.

For these reasons, if you or your loved one are facing legal issues related to a mental health or substance abuse problem, allow us to offer our expertise and guidance in obtaining the best possible legal outcome under these trying circumstances.

Call our office today to schedule your initial consultation.


Law Offices of William V. Pernik serves the entire Monterey County, including the cities of Salinas, Marina, Monterey, Carmel, and Pacific Grove, and accepts cases from nearby counties of Santa Cruz and San Benito. Upon request, we also take selected cases from the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Please contact Law Offices of William V. Pernik for a free and confidential consultation. Experienced representation is just a phone call away.