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Mental Illness & Substance Abuse Issues in Criminal Defense

Our Salinas Criminal Defense Attorney Is 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 Salinas Criminal Defense Attorney 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 and all surrounding counties, 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.

Focused Representation to Navigate You through Trouble Times

Our Salinas criminal defense attorney at Law Offices of William V. Pernik is 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 at (831) 269-5353 to schedule your free initial consultation. We proudly serve clients throughout Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Benito Counties, as well as handling select cases from the San Francisco Bay Area.

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  • “Amazing in every way.”

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  • “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.”

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

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  • “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.”

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

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  • “If you are smart enough to find William and pick him for your attorney, the outcome will be the best you could possibly hope for.”

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  • “I must say Mr. William Pernik is an exemplary exception to this rule. I cannot say enough wonderful things about Mr. Pernik and his professionalism as an attorney and his compassion for his client's rights.”

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