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Will I be incarcerated in my criminal case?

On Behalf of | Jul 3, 2024 | Criminal Defense, Firm News

The possibility of incarceration is usually the top concern of those who have been accused of criminal wrongdoing. Figuring out the risk in your case requires analysis of several factors, each of which you have to fully understand in order to develop an effective criminal defense strategy. Otherwise, you could inadvertently increase your risk of jail or prison time.

Factors that may impact the possibility of incarceration

The prosecution is going to highlight the potential range of incarceration in your case as a scare tactic to get you to agree to a plea deal. But before making any decisions about your case, consider these factors and how they may or may not play to your favor:

  • The severity of the crime charged: Misdemeanor offenses have a significantly reduced risk of leading to incarceration compared to felony offenses, but the facts of the crime in question are highly relevant, too. For example, if the offense in question involved violence using a deadly weapon, then you’re at a heightened risk of being incarcerated than being convicted of straight domestic battery. If you can, find ways to argue that the severity of your case is more diminished than it may seem.
  • Your criminal history: If you have a lengthy criminal history, then the court might find it appropriate to punish you more severely to try to deter you from future criminal activity. If your criminal history is minimal or nonexistent, you’re in a better position to argue that the court should go easy on you and order penalties that don’t include incarceration.
  • Your remorse: Taking accountability for your actions and exhibiting remorse can play well with the court, perhaps even persuading the judge that incarceration isn’t necessary to prevent you from committing similar acts in the future. That’s why if you’re convicted, you need to be open and honest with the court about any shame, guilt, and remorse that you may be feeling.
  • Your cooperation: At your sentencing hearing, the court will consider whether you cooperated with the police during their investigation. If you were forthcoming, then the court may consider your cooperation a mitigating circumstance that could lead to lighter penalties. If you fought the police every step of the way, on the other hand, then the court may not be so willing to go easy on you.

Of course, one of the best ways to avoid incarceration is to either negotiate a plea deal that excludes jail or prison time or take your case to trial and win. Both require you to gather and present evidence that jeopardizes the strength of the prosecution’s case, so diligently prepare your case so that you put forth strong arguments that protect your position and your future.

Don’t miss out on powerful criminal defense opportunities

It’s easy to lose hope when a conviction seems likely in your case. But don’t lose hope. There could be strong criminal defense options available to help you avoid conviction and incarceration. So, before making any decisions in your case, fully consider your options and explore those that could secure the outcome you want. If that’s something you’re uncomfortable doing on your own, then be sure to discuss it with your criminal defense attorney.