How to Avoid a Jail Sentence
A great criminal defense attorney has the experience, knowledge, and reputation that will go a long way to keep a client from ending up in jail.
A Defendant Can Avoid Incarceration in Most Cases If the Defendant Receives Superior Legal Representation
When someone is under investigation or charged with a crime, it is normal to be afraid and concerned about many different things. Will I lose my job? Will I lose my children? Is this going to cause a divorce? Am I going to get kicked out of school? Inevitably, you will also be concerned about the possibility of going to jail. Because the stakes are so high, it is essential to consult with an experienced attorney who can spend time answering your questions, hearing your story, and alleviating your fears. The information in this blog is intended to provide you with some basic information and answers to general questions.
“How can a criminal defense attorney keep me out of jail?”
One of the main reasons people hire an experienced criminal defense attorney instead of representing themselves or waiting for the court to appoint an attorney is that they are concerned about jail time. You would want to personally discuss this question and your other concerns with an attorney because the best defense, in any case, is unique and tailored to each client and each case. A good and caring lawyer will take the time to listen to your concerns and talk with you about what strategy might be best to avoid a conviction and jail sentence. The options and strategies at a lawyer’s disposal are only limited by their will to fight for the client and that person’s experience.
“What kind of lawyer should I hire for a felony or misdemeanor?”
The first step in finding the best possible lawyer to represent you begins with deciding what type of lawyer you need. You need to consider whether you need a general practice attorney, a bargain lawyer, or a criminal defense specialist. For instance, imagine for a moment that a person is suffering from a severe heart condition. If that person wants the best medical care, should he seek a general, family-style doctor or a cardiologist? For anything important in your life, you would like a specialist. Seeking representation on a criminal charge can be viewed similarly. Once you figure out the type of lawyer best suited to your situation, you can meet with one or more lawyers and choose the person that is the best fit for you and your circumstances. You would want someone specializing in defending people on felony and misdemeanor cases and who has a track record of winning in court. A criminal defense specialist is an attorney whose legal practice is dedicated entirely to criminal defense and nothing else.
“Can a court-appointed lawyer accomplish as much as retained counsel?
In many cases, the secret to keeping a client out of jail and obtaining the best possible result is preparation, organization, and proactivity. A retained lawyer can start the process of collecting favorable evidence, preparing a defense, advising the client to take mitigating measures (like therapy, AA, polygraph tests, forensic evaluations, and more), and a retained attorney can begin this process either before charges are filed or early on in the case. You will not be given a court-appointed lawyer during an investigation. A retained attorney can intervene and prevent police officers from collecting certain types of evidence against you. An indigent person without the resources to hire a top-notch lawyer will be unable to influence an investigation positively. Additionally, a lack of counsel can result in a missed opportunity to prevent the charge from going to court. A seasoned, successful attorney will know how to collect favorable evidence that they can use to defend you before the evidence is altered or destroyed.
Additionally, only retained counsel can negotiate with the police before charges are filed to avoid or reduce potential criminal charges. Finally, a retained attorney can obtain an agreement from the police not to make an arrest and permit the defendant to self-surrender and get a personal or lower bond. Failure to hire experienced and effective retained counsel at the beginning of a case can result in an unnecessarily high bond and your incarceration through the pendency of the case.
“What information is important when a judge decides whether to order jail time?”
Many factors go into a judge’s decision regarding the possibility of jail or prison. Things like criminal history, the facts of the crime, damage caused or injuries that resulted from the offense, whether the defendant is remorseful, and the chances of rehabilitation are all critical. A long criminal history increases the chances of incarceration, for example. Conversely, a defendant that has taken proactive measures to get mental health therapy or substance abuse treatment stands a better chance of being placed on probation without jail.
Well-known, seasoned lawyers know how to get their clients started early on, taking steps to reduce the chance of a jail or prison sentence. Even if the initial strategy is to fight a case tooth-and-nail, successful attorneys will not leave any stone unturned.
“If I hire a lawyer who is a ‘fighter,’ does that make it less likely I will go to jail?”
A great criminal defense lawyer is like a great golfer; he has multiple “clubs” in his bag to succeed for the client regardless of the situation. There are some cases where the lawyer must fight the facts, and, in other cases, challenging the law is the best strategy. In most cases, a lawyer who will fearlessly fight in multiple ways gives the client the best chance of staying out of jail. A lawyer does not need to be aggressive, combative, and rude. Depending on any unique situation, a great attorney can be an effective fighter, a polished and skillful negotiator, a strategic tactician, or a keen observer, as needed in any given situation.
“If I’m innocent, I do not have to worry about jail time, right?”
In an ideal world, innocent people would always go free, and guilty people would be convicted. We do not live in a perfect world. The fact is that innocent people are convicted of felony and misdemeanor offenses for a myriad of reasons. In some cases, an innocent person may accept a plea bargain to avoid a more serious conviction or the possibility of lengthy prison time. In other cases, a jury may wrongfully convict a person. The United States’ legal system is the best globally; however, it is far from perfect. A top criminal defense lawyer gives you the best chance of staying out of jail because they can ensure you are treated fairly and have the knowledge and willingness to do whatever is necessary to get you the justice you deserve.
A Great Criminal Law Defense Law Firm That Can Keep You Out of Jail
LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has specialized in representing people charged with committing felony and misdemeanor criminal offenses in state and federal courts throughout Michigan. The firm’s attorneys have decades of experience in handling only criminal cases. When an attorney from our firm walks into a courtroom, the prosecutor and judge know we are there to fight and win. They work every day to maintain that reputation because it frequently allows them to achieve results unobtainable by other attorneys.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete a Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.