Youthful Offenders | Isla Vista Attorney Bill Makler

Santa Barbara criminal defense lawyer Bill Makler

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Youthful Offender Program

The Youthful Offender Program ("YOP") is a plea bargaining opportunity in South Santa Barbara County.  It is usually available to persons cited for minor in possession of alcohol, possession of false identification, and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, as long as they (1) are under the age of 21 when cited, and (2)  have never been in trouble before.  It is essentially an agreement to take classes in exchange for the ultimate dismissal of the charge* (the charge which, according to California's Zero Tolerance Law, carries a year-long drivers license suspension).  The program is designed to inform its participants of the dangers associated with alcohol and drug abuse as well as how to detect and deal with addiction.  The total time commitment is about 9 hours and the program fees range between $75 to $165.  There are two such programs available to locals:  Zona Seca (downtown Santa Barbara) and C.A.S.E. (UCSB). There are a few other qualifying programs in other parts of California.  To find out more about the pros and cons of entering the YOP plea bargain and to assess your eligibility, contact us to take advantage of a free and confidential consultation.

*  Although the more serious charge is dismissed, the participant will generally suffer a conviction for "disturbing the peace" and a fine of $416 will be imposed.