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Factors that impact the risk of incarceration in your case

On Behalf of | Jul 11, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

Your top concern after being charged with a criminal offense is probably whether you’re going to go to jail. After your arrest, there’s a good chance that you’ll be taken to jail until you can post bail, but you’re probably more concerned about the possibility of long-term incarceration that may come after a conviction. So, what’s the risk of jail or prison time in your case?

That’s not a question that can be directly answered here since the facts of your case and the crime with which you’ve been charged are going to play a crucial role in answering it. But we do want to take a moment to talk about some of the factors that could play a role in your case, that way you can better assess your circumstances and consider what sort of criminal defense strategy is best for you.

Factors that may play a role in the potential for post-conviction incarceration

The risk of incarceration in your case depends on a number of factors. Amongst them are the following:

  • The severity of the crime: Felony convictions are much more likely to result in jail or prison time than misdemeanors, and those offenses that are violent in nature are even more likely to result in incarceration. So, if you’ve been charged with a violent offense, then you’ll want to do your best to try to negotiate it down to a lesser charge, perhaps even a misdemeanor, if it doesn’t look likely that you’ll prevail at trial.
  • Your criminal history: If you have a long history of involvement with the criminal justice system that includes convictions, then the court might feel compelled to incarcerate you to punish you and to try to deter you from future criminal action. If this is your first offense, then the court might go easier on you.
  • Any sense of remorse: If you’re found guilty, then the court will consider whether you’re sorry for the crime that’s been committed and if you feel any regret. Showing remorse may get you leniency, while not taking accountability, at least from the court’s perspective, could lead to harsher penalties.
  • Your cooperation: Cooperation with law enforcement and prosecutors can play a role in your sentencing. This is especially true if information that you provided to them led to other arrests or convictions. If you were obstructive, on the other hand, then the court may view that as an aggravating factor.
  • Your condition: If you suffer from any physical or mental health condition, then the court might be less inclined to incarcerate you. The same is true if there are circumstances that contributed to your participation in the offense, such as stress or coercion of some sort, since they could provide an explanation as to why the offense in question was committed.

Develop the criminal defense strategy that best protects your interests

While the risk of incarceration may be real in your case, you shouldn’t give into it. Although you need to be prepared to address sentencing if it gets to that point, you first need to think through the best way to fight against the prosecution’s case. This might involve suppressing evidence, attacking witness credibility, or negotiating a favorable plea deal. Just don’t let the prosecution steamroll you into a conviction with otherwise avoidable penalties.

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