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Committed Criminal Defense Team Focused On Your Freedom

Salinas Mental Illness & Substance Abuse Attorneys

Our Salinas LawyerIs 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. Person sleeping and spilled pills

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.


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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.

Mental Illness Defense in Criminal Cases

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 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.

The Opinions That Matter

See What Our Client Have To Say
  • “I felt like he understood the stress me and my family were going through and held our hand through the process”

    Alex F.

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

    A C.

  • “William stood out as the most honest, hard working and compassionate.”

    B.C.

  • “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.

  • “Amazing in every way.”

    Kritine F.

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

    J TD T.

  • “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.”

    K F.

  • “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.

  • “You will not regret hiring him as your legal counsel. I honestly, cannot thank him enough for his dedication, hard work, and patience with my case that lasted over 18 months”

    Rob M.

  • “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

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

    Justin 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 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.”

    Yelp Reviewer

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

    Ba C.