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Legal Strategies to Avoid Jail for the Accused


Being accused of a crime can be a daunting and life-changing experience. The possibility of incarceration, either in jail or in prison, may weigh heavily on the accused and their loved ones. However, several legal strategies can be employed to reduce or eliminate the possibility of jail time. There are a number of ways the Tacoma Defense Attorneys at Smith & White, PLLC can help eliminate the fear of jail. This article will explore a variety of such methods, from pretrial diversion programs to alternative sentencing options.

  1. Pretrial Diversion Programs

    In Washington State, pretrial diversion programs offer an alternative to the traditional criminal justice process. These programs are designed to rehabilitate offenders without the need for a trial or the imposition of a criminal sentence. Participants typically agree to complete specific requirements, such as community service, drug or alcohol treatment, or counseling. Upon successful completion of the program, the criminal charges may be dismissed, effectively keeping the accused from going to jail.

  2. Plea Bargaining

    Plea bargaining is another strategy that can be employed to avoid jail time. In this process, the accused agrees to plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a more lenient sentence. This method is often used when the evidence against the accused is strong and the chances of acquittal at trial are low. Plea bargains can result in reduced charges or probation instead of incarceration, depending on the specifics of the case and the negotiation skills of the defense attorney.

  3. Deferred Prosecution

    Deferred prosecution is an option for misdemeanor allegations in Washington State. In this arrangement, the court agrees to postpone the sentencing for a specified period, during which the accused must comply with certain conditions. These include drug or alcohol treatment and/or mental health counseling. Although this option requires 5 years of probation, If the accused successfully completes the required conditions, the charges will be dismissed allowing the individual to avoid jail time.

  4. Mental Health or Drug Court

    Washington State has specialized courts, such as mental health and drug courts, that focus on addressing the underlying issues contributing to criminal behavior. These courts offer treatment programs and support services tailored to the specific needs of the accused. Participation in these programs can lead to reduced sentences or even the dismissal of charges, provided the individual complies with the court's requirements and shows progress in their treatment.

  5. Alternative Sentencing Options

    Finally, alternative sentencing options can be explored to keep an accused person from going to jail. Some of these options include electronic home monitoring, work release programs, or community service. Judges have discretion in sentencing and may be open to considering alternative punishments, particularly for first-time or non-violent offenders.

  6. Fighting the Charge

    Sometimes you just need to fight the case and win to avoid jail time and/or prison time. We have a number of legal strategies for winning cases at trial. Both the partners at Smith & White, PLLC are tested by trial. Each has many years of experience arguing cases to judges and juries.


Facing criminal charges in Washington State can be a frightening experience, but there are various legal strategies available to reduce or eliminate the prospect of jail time. By working closely with a knowledgeable defense attorney, the accused can explore options such as pretrial diversion programs, plea bargaining, deferred prosecution, specialized courts, or alternative sentencing arrangements. These strategies can offer a second chance for the accused, allowing them to address the issues that contributed to their involvement in the criminal justice system and move forward with their lives.

Client Reviews
I was represented by James White and have been nothing but satisfied with the outcome. Jame is very efficient and eliminates much of the stress that the judicial system can place on an offender. I am very grateful to have such a great attorney and owe him my gratitude for helping me when times were rough. Not only is he professional, but he is also someone you can talk to on a personal level. I highly recommend James White and would undoubtedly use him again in the future. If you are in search of an attorney, do yourself a favor and have the law offices of Smith & White represent you. Mike D.
I contacted James after my charge for reckless endangerment, and right from the start he was informative and reassuring. James worked hard to get me the best possible outcome, and was always very quick to return a call or text. He was straightforward and honest with me about my case, explaining both the good and the bad in a way that was reassuring without being misleading. Overall, I highly recommend Smith and White to anyone who is looking for the most professional representation in their legal matters. Matthew B.
Attorney James White was a beacon of hope for me at a time when my options appeared limited and the likeness of a satisfactory resolution seemed close to nothing. Not only was he able to defend me in a specific sticky situation in which I hired him for, I felt as though he also went above and beyond in efforts to provide me with the best outcome possible. His calm and professional demeanor offered such a great assurance to myself and those I care about around me. I am completely grateful for his service and I most definitely recommend Mr. White. Leyasha J.
Derek Smith guided us through a troubling legal situation with absolute professionalism. This was my first experience with a trial situation and Mr. Smith was able to address all of my questions and concerns in a way that helped address some of the fear I had regarding the legal system. Mr. Smith was highly effective during the trial and the result ended up in our favor. Legal troubles are scary and it was great knowing we had a fantastic legal team on our side to help navigate the somewhat confusing situation. My wife and I emphatically recommend this law firm. Steve B.
Mr. Smith was wonderful to work with. He was professional, knowledgeable and effective!! He takes the time to listen, which is amazing and can be a hard quality to find! He is informative and straight forward, which I truly appreciate! He was quite helpful on another matter that I asked his advise on. Thank you!!! Melika