What is the chance of getting jail time?

By November 22, 2016 May 24th, 2019 blog post, Criminal Defense Detroit MI

What is the chance of getting jail time?

prison guard with keys outside dark prison cell

We can help you. (248) 263-6800

At LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., we get many calls every day from people facing felony or misdemeanor charges or a violation of probation and are wondering, “what is the chance of getting jail time at sentencing?” If you asked, “what is the chance of a flipped coin coming up heads?”, this would be a question that could be easily answered. A person’s chance of getting jail time is much more complicated.

Factors Used to Determine a Sentence

Generally, judges are required to consider the nature and circumstances of the offense and the history and characteristics of the defendant. Specifically, judges are supposed to fashion a sentence that reflects the seriousness of the offense, promotes respect for the law, provides just punishment for the offense, affords adequate deterrence to criminal conduct, protects the public from further crimes of the defendant, and provide the defendant the opportunity to be rehabilitated.

The “chance of getting jail time” is different in every case because every case is different. As you may imagine, when you put all of the above factors together and consider that every defendant, victim, prosecutor, officer in charge, defense lawyer and judge are different and unique, you begin to get a picture of just how complicated it is to determine a person’s chance of getting jail time. Even things like current events and politics can affect a sentence.

8th Amendment

Guiding Principles for Judges at Sentencing

There are some guiding principles that are intended to help guide judges when fashioning an appropriate sentence. A thoughtful and fair sentence can be very hard to determine. It has been recognized by Michigan Courts that sentencing involves a careful and thoughtful assessment of the true moral fiber of another (People v. Heller). The Supreme Court directs that sentencing judges determine a proper sentence while keeping an eye towards both societies’ need for protection and its interest of maximizing the offender’s rehabilitative potential (People v. McFarlin). The sentencing court should make every effort to individualize sentences in order to further the goal of rehabilitation (People v. Triplett). Courts are supposed to keep in mind that compassion is still an element of the law (People v. Monday).

Avoid Jail or Prison Time at Sentencing


How can you avoid jail or prison time? Because sentencing is so complicated, it takes a truly experienced and effective criminal defense attorney to give you the lowest chance of getting jail time. A great criminal defense attorney will plan for sentencing at the beginning of a case, even if the plan is to get the case dismissed or achieve an acquittal at trial. The best lawyers are prepared for everything. If you are worried about jail or prison time, you need the best possible criminal defense. Call LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. at (248) 263-6800 or complete a Request for Assistance Form and a criminal defense attorney will promptly contact you.