Can I Reduce the Possibility of Jail or Prison Time?

Going to prison or jail is a terrifying prospect for anyone. Therefore, the desire to reduce the possibility of jail or prison time is a high priority for anyone charged with a crime in Michigan. No attorney can guarantee that you will not serve jail time. If an attorney “promises” you that you will not go to jail, you need to seek other counsel.

A reputable, experienced Michigan criminal defense lawyer explains your options, gives you his advice, and tells you what he believes your chances are of serving jail time based on his many years of experience defending individuals in our courts. With that said, your best chance of reducing the possibility of incarceration is to consult with a Lansing criminal defense lawyer. Competent legal counsel is your best defense against criminal charges.

The police nor the prosecutor are going to tell you that you have a valid legal defense to the charges. Their job is to obtain a conviction, not to help you get out of a criminal charge or get out of serving jail time. An attorney protects your best interest throughout the entire process. We urge you to call 517-347-6900 for a free legal consultation with one of our attorneys. Do not leave your future to chance by ignoring a criminal charge or trusting a prosecutor when he or she tells you that you might get away without prison time.

This is My First Offense — Will I Go to Jail?

Numerous factors impact whether a person will serve jail time for a first-time conviction. The biggest factor in determining whether you may be incarcerated for a conviction is the criminal charge against you. Some crimes require mandatory jail time for a conviction while other crimes do not require any jail time for a conviction.

The Michigan Criminal Code defines the various punishments for a criminal conviction in addition to defining the elements that the prosecution must prove for a conviction. The type of crime determines whether incarceration is a possibility. In some cases, a judge may be required to order prison time because of the state’s sentencing guidelines.

Does Michigan Have Sentencing Guidelines for Criminal Convictions?

Yes, the state does have sentencing guidelines that judges use when imposing punishment for criminal convictions. These guidelines include minimum and maximum sentences for some crimes, including mandatory jail time. However, judges do have some discretion when imposing sentences. In some cases, a judge may waive jail time for first offenders. In cases that involve mandatory incarceration, the judge can order the minimum jail time for first offenders.

Understanding the factors a judge may consider when determining if jail or prison time is warranted for a crime can be helpful. Some factors judges consider when deciding punishment include:

  • Mandatory sentencing guidelines;
  • Pre-sentencing report (recommendations by a probation officer);
  • Your criminal record;
  • Any recommendations by the prosecutor regarding sentencing;
  • The factors of the crime itself (e. was anyone injured, did you act in a malicious manner, other extenuating factors, etc.); and,
  • Your demeanor and behavior when in court.

Our experienced Okemos criminal defense lawyers understand the factors involved in sentencing. We use this knowledge when developing a defense strategy that gives you the best chance of avoiding prison time for a criminal conviction. Depending on the circumstances of your case, we might be able to plead to a lower charge to avoid or reduce jail time if a conviction is highly likely. Other possibilities include probation, pretrial intervention, fines, and other punishments instead of jail time.

Do I Have a Recourse for an Unjust Prison Sentence?

Any punishment ordered by the court should fit the crime. Judges are fallible, and they do make mistakes. If you believe your jail time or prison sentence is unfair or unjust, you can appeal the decision. In some cases, a judge may allow his or her personal feelings to affect sentencing, or a judge may order prison time that exceeds the maximum sentence prescribed by law for the crime. We urge you to seek counsel if you believe your sentence is unfair because you may have a valid legal argument for appeal that could overturn or reduce your sentence.

Call a Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney to Discuss Your Chance of Serving Jail Time

The attorneys of The Clark Law Office want to help you achieve the best possible outcome by utilizing every tool and resource to build a strong defense to the criminal charge you face. We want to work with you to seek justice and to ensure that you do not receive an unfair prison sentence.  For a free legal consultation with a Lansing criminal defense attorney, call 517-347-6900. We have offices in Okemos and Lansing to serve our clients.