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Committed Criminal Defense Team Focused On Your Freedom

Criminal Defense Attorney in Salinas, Serving Monterey & the Surrounding Counties

Defending Veterans & Current Members of the U.S. Military

Few clients touch our hearts as much as current or former members of the U.S. Armed Forces, whose livelihood and benefits are endangered by a pending criminal case, or who face legal problems as a result of a mental health issue or substance abuse problem stemming from their time in the service.

At Law Offices of William V. Pernik, we believe in taking special care of courageous men and women who put their lives at risk by serving in our nation’s Armed Forces. Over the years, our Salinas criminal defense lawyer has represented dozens of current or former members of the U.S. military, and have the knowledge and experience to repay our veterans for their selfless service by providing them with exceptional legal representation even in the most difficult situations.

In particular, it is our mission to educate our military clients about preferential treatment programs that apply to misdemeanor and felony cases involving current or former members of the U.S. Armed Forces, who may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, traumatic brain injury, sexual trauma, or other mental health problems as a result of their service.

Penal Code Section 1001.80 Diversion

Under the newly-enacted Penal Code section 1001.80, eligible veterans or current servicemen or servicewomen may now avoid the adverse consequence of suffering a criminal conviction by entering into a pretrial diversion program for a period of time to not exceed two years. In that diversion program, clients receive services from treatment providers such as the V.A., or local mental health agencies, and upon successful completion of the program, the criminal charges would be dismissed. If the diversion was not successfully completed, the criminal charges would be reinstated, and the defendant would be returned to the same place he or she was in before the diversion, able to present the same arguments and defense to the court or jury.

Penal Code Section 1170.9 Felony Sentencing Alternatives

Although official pretrial diversion pursuant to section 1001.80 does not apply to felony cases, there may be other ways to mitigate the most harmful consequences of your conviction. One such avenue is the recently-amended Penal Code section 1170.9, which requires the court to determine whether the defendant about to be sentenced is a current or former member of U.S. military, who may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, traumatic brain injury, sexual trauma, or other mental health problems as a result of his or her service, and if so, to use it as a factor in favor of granting probation. The statute further provides for preferential treatment for programs such as those operated by the V.A., and can be used by an experienced defense professional to persuade the court to order the defendant into a treatment program in lieu of additional further incarceration, as well as to grant restorative relief, including a reduction to a misdemeanor, and granting relief under section 1203.4 of the Penal Code.

Law Offices of William V. Pernik Is Here to Help

If you, or someone you care about, is a current or former member of the U.S. military who is now facing a criminal charge, please call our Salinas criminal defense attorney right away to get help. We know firsthand the pain of seeing our friends and loved ones go through the difficult process of adjustment to civilian life, especially after deployment in combat zones, and know how humiliating and depressing the experience of being prosecuted could be for those who have served our country with honor and distinction.

Over the years, it has been our privilege to represent many veterans who have been charged with misdemeanor and felony crimes. In many such cases, we were able to negotiate dismissals or reductions of charges, avoid further incarceration, and help our clients get enrolled in much needed mental health or substance abuse counseling, including through the VA.

As a small token of our profound appreciation, we also offer special discounts to our military clients, starting from $500 on misdemeanors and $1000 on felony cases.

We are truly here for you – please call us at (831) 269-5353 to schedule your free consultation!

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

The Opinions That Matter

See What Our Client Have To Say
  • “I was fighting a DUI prison case. Those cases are usually very black and white for judges. Mr. Pernik guided me in the right direction so my case turned out very beneficial for me. His statements are very well put together.”

    Avvo Reviewer

  • “They took care of me all the way through my conviction, he was even able to extend my surrender date without any hesitations.”

    Yolanda L.

  • “He is an active listener, dedicated to his profession and his community.”

    J TD T.

  • “Roland listened to me, asked appropriate questions and provided me with the information that I needed in order to make an informed decision.”

    Chris m.

  • “Mr. Pernik really took the time to know me personally he understood my situation. He genuinely wanted to help me during a difficult time in my life. He fought for me in court to modify my sentence.”

    Avvo Reviewer

  • “Good friend and attorney - if you are in trouble, take my word: he's good.”

    Justin C.

  • “Mr. Pernik has so much compassion for his clients, his integrity is beyond approach.”

    Jacqueline W.

  • “If you want solid representation from someone who is non-judgmental and has your back, look no further.”

    Annia R.

  • “Not only did he fight for the best outcome for me, but he also was available to answer my questions 24-7. I felt very protected and calm when Mr. Pernik would enter the court room”

    Avvo Reviewer

  • “I felt like he understood the stress me and my family were going through and held our hand through the process”

    Alex F.

  • “I highly recommend Mr. Pernick. He is extremely knowledgeable about complex criminal defense issues. He is very hard-working and provides excellent representation for his clients. No one will work harder to achieve the best result.”

    Jessica

  • “I can't express enough gratitude and appreciation for his exceptional skills as an attorney.”

    A C.

  • “William was very friendly and checked on the status of my file for free.”

    Ba C.

  • “Mr. William Pernik is extremely intelligent and caring with his clients. Not a very easy combination to find in a lawyer. He looks at all the options for the best possible fair and just outcome in a case.”

    NR

  • “I found myself in a very tough situation and Mr. Pernik first of all was straight forward with me he was honest and all around very knowledgeable on what to do in regards to my case. He offered me peace of mind and got me through a very tough stage”

    Luis