San Fernando Valley Criminal & DUI Defense Lawyers

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“After Care” in Criminal and DUI Defense

Why do I love doing “after care” in criminal defense and DUI cases? Not every case is dismissed. Oh no, there I go telling the truth again. Yes, some people sustain convictions either by plea or by verdict. Some get placed on probation, either formal or informal. Some have obligations to the court including restitution, alcohol or drug programs, domestic violence counseling, AA meetings or other things. There are often court appearances required to show proof that these requirements have been satisfied, to prove that restitution has been paid or just so that the judge can maintain supervision over the defendant. One of the services I can perform for my clients is attending court either with or for them. This helps to keep their obligations manageable and ensure the client gets credit where it is due. As probation goes on and obligations get signed off, the next thing we want to look to is reducing convictions from felonies to misdemeanors, reducing probation from formal to informal, expunging convictions and even seeking certificates of rehabilitation and pardons.

There are several reasons why I love doing after care. First, usually when I am doing post-conviction work it is because clients have been successful on probation. We are then seeking to free them from the constraints of the criminal justice system. By reducing charges and terminating probations and expunging convictions we are often helping clients when they seek new and better employment. We are helping them to get licenses which background checks would otherwise keep them from. We are helping to free them from travel bans (Canada and Japan) and helping them see family, friends and simply enjoy their lives.

After care is not glamorous. What it is though is a great service for my clients. If I can go to court and allow my client to go to work and help support his or family that has value. If I can get my clients probation terminated early or reduced to informal probation and save my client thousands in supervision fees, that has value. If I can reduce a felony to a misdemeanor or expunge a conviction and help my client get a better job or a state license, that has value. If I can help a client travel to another country to see family or friends, that too has value.

I see a lot of lawyers ask to be relieved from their clients’ cases after the case ends. I see a lot of lawyers tell clients they can go to court on their own and handle their post-conviction appearances. I don’t think it nice. More importantly, I don’t think it’s very professional. Clients look to us to see their cases through to the end. The end is not the day the client pleads guilty. The end is the day the client is free from any other obligations or stigmas which stemmed from their criminal case. The case is over when the client can walk with their head held high because they are no longer under the thumb of the probation department or the court and no longer have to write “yes” on a job application if asked if they have ever been arrested or convicted of crime.

If you or someone close to you is still paying the price for having been put through the criminal justice system, or if you want a free case evaluation, call me:

Attorney Jeffrey Vallens (818) 783-5700 or (888) 764-4340 or email me at:

I look forward to helping you.

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