What are the chances of getting jail time?

In most cases, there is a way for you to avoid serving jail time on felony and misdemeanor charges. An experienced, savvy attorney gives you your best odds of maintaining your freedom.

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How we can help you avoid jail.

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 who 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?” the answer is fairly simple. A person’s chance of getting jail time is much more complicated.

Our team helps our clients avoid jail time by leveraging our extensive legal expertise and experience. We meticulously analyze the case, scrutinize evidence, and identify legal defenses or weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. Through skillful negotiations, our lawyers can secure favorable plea bargains and alternatives to incarceration, such as probation, rehabilitation programs, or community service. We also advocate for our client’s rights and ensure that due process is upheld. With our knowledge of the legal system and a deep commitment to our client’s best interests, the top defense attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. maximize the chances of achieving a positive outcome that minimizes or eliminates jail time.

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. 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 provides 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, 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.

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Guiding Principles for Judges at Sentencing

Some guiding principles are intended to help guide judges when fashioning an appropriate sentence. A thoughtful and fair sentence can be challenging to determine. Michigan courts have recognized 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 toward society’s need for protection and its interest in maximizing the offender’s rehabilitative potential (People v. McFarlin). The sentencing court should make every effort to individualize sentences 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).

“How to get out of doing jail time?”

Avoiding jail time depends on various factors, including the nature of the charges, the strength of the evidence, and the case’s specific circumstances. Here are some general steps that may help reduce the likelihood of serving jail time:

  • Hire an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney: The first and most critical step is to consult with and hire an experienced criminal defense attorney, such as the seasoned lawyers with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. They can assess the strength of the prosecution’s case, advise their client of potential defenses, and work to negotiate the best possible outcome.
  • Explore Plea Bargains: In many cases, plea bargains can lead to reduced charges or lighter sentences. The defense attorney can negotiate with the prosecution to secure a plea deal that may involve probation, community service, or a reduced sentence in exchange for a guilty plea.
  • Challenge the Evidence: An aggressive, skilled defense attorney can review the evidence and determine if any was obtained unlawfully or if there are weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. Challenging evidence can lead to suppression of evidence or dismissal of charges. Securing a dismissal removes the chance of the defendant getting jail time.
  • Seek Alternatives to Incarceration: Depending on the nature of the offense and the defendant’s personal circumstances, their attorney may be able to argue for alternatives to jail time, such as house arrest, electronic monitoring, drug or alcohol treatment programs, or community service.
  • Consider Pre-Trial Diversion Programs: Some jurisdictions offer diversion programs for non-violent offenders. These programs may involve counseling, education, or rehabilitation instead of incarceration. Completing such a program can lead to charges being dropped or reduced.
  • Prepare for Trial: If necessary, an experienced attorney will prepare and present a strong defense at trial. A successful defense can result in an acquittal or a verdict of a lesser offense. An acquittal or “not guilty” verdict eliminates the possibility of jail time. A reduced charge decreases the potential punishment.
  • Demonstrate Rehabilitation and Mitigation: In some cases, showing the court that you have taken steps toward rehabilitation, such as completing drug or alcohol treatment programs or therapy, may influence the sentencing decision. Support or character letters from friends or family can help humanize a defendant, making it more likely that the judge will focus on rehabilitation rather than punishment. Proof of prior good deeds, charitable activity, employment, and stability in the community can mitigate against a jail or prison sentence.
  • Consider Probation: If the court determines that jail time might be warranted, the attorney can argue for probation with a suspended jail sentence, which allows the client to serve their sentence under supervision in the community, typically with conditions such as regular check-ins and adherence to specific rules.
  • Comply with Court Orders: It’s essential to follow all court orders and probation conditions diligently to avoid violating the terms of the sentence, which could lead to jail time. Also, a defendant’s compliance with bond conditions demonstrates they are likely to comply with terms of probation and respect court orders. If a defendant has been bond compliant, it drastically reduces their chance of getting jail time.

Ultimately, the best strategy to reduce the chance of getting jail time depends on the unique circumstances of someone’s case. It’s essential to consult with a qualified attorney who can guide you through the legal process and help you navigate the options available. The Defense Attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have an unparalleled track record of persuading judges to grant lenient sentences without jail time.

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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 prepare for everything and can handle any situation. If you are worried about jail or prison time, you need the best possible criminal defense. Call LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. for a free consultation, and we will take the time to talk with you, answer your questions, and address your concerns. We will find a way to help you.

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.

We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

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