California has a large number of jails and prisons spanning the state, holding well over 100,000 inmates at any given time. California prisons are over populated and so more and more people are being sentenced to jail time instead of prison time. Non-violent, minor offenders often face only jail time. These are mainly misdemeanor crimes however some felonies also come with jail time, instead of prison time, because of overcrowding in California prisons. With some crimes, first time offenders may be released shortly after their arrest, after possibly serving one or two days of a sentence. Other may serve a week or up to one year. Most crimes come with the potential sentencing of several months of jail time, however California courts do have some discretion when it comes to ordering jail time. If you are facing jail time, don't feel discouraged yet. There is action you can take to ensure you have the best possible chance at walking away with your freedom preserved. Hiring an attorney is one thing you can do to fight to keep your freedom. At the time of arrest, always ask to speak to an attorney before answering any questions; this is your right as a US citizen. You will have the best chance at avoiding jail time if you have an attorney advise you on what to say and what not to say to law enforcement officials. After the fact, if you are facing criminal charges, consult with a criminal defense attorney to discuss your defense options. A skilled criminal defense attorney with several years experience will have seen many clients both go to jail and many clients avoid jail time. They will be able to advise you on what is a likely outcome for your case and let you know the outcomes of similar cases they've handled. Sometimes attorneys will be able to identify elements of your case and circumstances that are particularly compelling when asking that your jail time be stayed, or deferred. Keep in mind that if you are given jail time that is deferred, this is usually conditional on the successful completion of your probation. If you violate your probation terms, you could end up serving the full jail sentence you were given but was stayed. This is very important to note because probation terms can be very strict, making it easy to end up serving your full jail sentence. You will have to pay any fines, penalties and/or restitution you were ordered to pay for your crime, you have to make sure to not break any laws, you have to report to court or your probation officer when requested and may face other restrictive guidelines, dependent on your offense. So, if your jail time is deferred and you were given a probation period, you will have to be extremely careful for the duration of the probation. The punishments for crimes listed in California laws are often the minimum and maximum of jail time, fines and other punishments. Even if the crime you committed or were presumed to have committed comes with jail time, that doesn't mean the judge will order it. Getting your jail time deferred is essentially a matter of just asking for it however, in law, what you say and how you say it makes a big difference. That is where attorneys come in handy. It is not easy to simply ask a judge to reduce or defer your jail sentence for no reason. This will only be granted if it is clear you are not a threat to society and that you are not in need of corrective action. Consulting with a criminal defense attorney can go a long way to help you prepare for what you will say at your hearing. Having one be present with you is even better. Don't take a chance on your freedom if you are facing jail time. Consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney today to discuss your case and strategies you may use to avoid jail time. Every case is unique and so results from case to case will vary but an experienced attorney will be able to tell you what factors will most influence a judge when he or she decides on jail time. If you are facing a possible prison sentence, make sure you consult with an attorney on your chances of having your sentenced reduced. Fighting for your freedom is important because a jail or prison sentence can wreck havoc on your life. There may be a way you can avoid incarceration through home detention or another alternative sentencing program.
Have you or a loved one recently been arrested and are facing possible jail time? Call experienced Visalia area criminal defense attorney Christopher Martens today for expert counsel. At The Law Offices of Christopher Martens, we can listen to your story and help you prepare a strategic defense to ensure you the best possible outcome for your case, potentially helping you avoid jail time and preserve your freedom. Contact our Visalia or Hanford offices at 559-967-7386 or email us at [email protected] to discuss a possible plan of action for your case.