Were you charged with a crime? Contrary to popular belief, jail may not be on your agenda. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, you may be eligible for an incarceration alternative; a penalty that satisfies the court without requiring you to spend time behind bars. Here’s wha you should know.
Fines and/or Restitution
Lesser crimes like petty theft, shoplifting, trespassing, disorderly conduct, and similar crimes may be resolved by simply ordering the defendant to pay fines or restitution to the victim(s) of their crime(s). For example, a person found guilty of graffiti vandalism could avoid jail time by paying restitution to the business to have the graffiti painted over. The court may also impose additional fines depending on the severity of the crime.
House arrest may be an option for non-violent offenders who have been convicted of certain types of minor crimes. Typically, house arrest is ordered for first-time offenders; repeat offenders of the same crime or who have a prior criminal record at all are less likely to be offered house arrest as an alternative to incarceration.
Community service hours may be ordered in conjunction with another incarceration alternative or alone depending on the age of the defendant and the crime they were convicted of. Community service may involve picking up trash on the side of highways, volunteering at homeless or animal shelters, or performing other tasks that benefit or beautify the community.
If you were convicted of a crime related to drugs or alcohol, such as possession or sale of drugs or drunk driving, you may be ordered to complete mandatory counseling and rehabilitation. Sometimes this is ordered in conjunction with jail time, however, in some cases, judges may order inpatient rehabilitation instead.
Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Help?
A criminal defense attorney can be your best ally when facing sentencing after being convicted of a crime. Creative and smart negotiation tactics could keep you out of jail and instead allow you to satisfy the court with incarceration alternatives like community service, house arrest, and counseling.
Don’t wait to get legal help after being charged with a crime, even before you are convicted. Call now for your initial consultation to discuss your case in detail at (203) 290-2779. Our experienced and caring staff are standing by to help you navigate the challenges of being charged with a crime.