How Do I Avoid Going to Jail in My Criminal Case?
We’ve talked about what happens if you get sent to jail, but how do you avoid going to jail in the first place if you’ve been charged with a crime? Especially if your case is a difficult one, the facts aren’t on your side, you’re caught, and a guilty finding is likely? The key is having a skilled and experienced attorney who can steer your case off the jail path.
At Mastantuono & Coffee, we know that none of our clients want to go to jail. This is criminal defense lawyer “101.” Many of our clients regret their actions and want to make things right, and jail can disrupt the positive things in their lives, causing loss of employment, separation from family, interruption in treatment, and just generally being a tough experience. So, the goal is avoiding jail, but how?
We spend extensive time talking with each of our clients about their background, their goals, and what lead them to this point. A criminal charge is a proverbial snapshot of our client on his or her worst day. It’s our job to expand the photo album to include other pictures, information that the prosecutor and judge don’t have about the positive things our client does, and the steps he or she takes to turn things around or address what caused the criminal behavior. This takes time, patience, and a commitment to really engaging the counselor part of the role of “attorney and counselor at law.” We work with our clients on referrals for services, working with a wide array of providers involved in mental health, alcohol and drug abuse, domestic violence, and many other treatment areas. We monitor their efforts and verify successful treatment progress to prosecutors and courts.
Our attorneys also work with the family members, friends and work colleagues of our clients, gathering character references and testimonials. An accused’s positive character is a factor for judge’s to consider in deciding whether to order a jail sentence.
These things take effort and time, and aren’t necessarily aimed at getting to a not guilty verdict in trial – most cases don’t go to trial. Rather, they lessen the degree of guilt for the offense, known in criminal justice as “mitigation.” If we do this well (and we do), jail can often be avoided even if the client pleads or is found guilty. It’s a whole-person approach, rather than treating the case as a file or series of court pleadings and reports, and it works well for our clients, putting them in a better place and enabling them to avoid jail even if they can’t avoid a conviction.