Options for Avoiding Jail Time

 Posted on February 13,2024 in Criminal Law

IL defense lawyerUnfortunately, there are cases where a term of incarceration is unavoidable. If you are facing a serious felony charge - especially a violent felony, a sex offense, or a high-level narcotics charge - you may not have any alternative to prison time. In those cases, your attorney’s role is to minimize the amount of time you would serve by presenting mitigating factors. However, in misdemeanor or even some felony cases, there are some alternatives to jail time courts may use at their discretion. If you are facing a more minor charge, like drug possession or simple assault, you may be able to avoid going to jail by agreeing to participate in a treatment program or accepting probation. In some cases, felony offenders can qualify for an impact program post-sentencing to minimize time served. An Arlington Heights, IL, criminal defense attorney can work to preserve your freedom by identifying an alternative to incarceration that would still meet the goals of the criminal justice system.

Ways to Avoid Jail Time After Arrest

Criminal defendants hoping to stay out of jail may have more options than they think. Potential ways to avoid incarceration may include:

  • Fight the charge - If you are found not guilty after trial or your lawyer is able to have your case dismissed for procedural reasons or a lack of evidence, you cannot be sent to jail. 
  • Get substance abuse treatment - If you are facing possession charges, the court may be more interested in getting you into a rehabilitation program than punishing you for struggling with addiction. Submitting to treatment may help you avoid going to jail, but you must adhere to the program’s requirements and stay clean. 
  • Plea bargaining - Often, your charges can be reduced if you are willing to plead guilty to a lesser offense. The reduction in charges may mean probation instead of prison. 
  • Accepting probation - Courts will sometimes allow minor or first-time offenders to avoid jail time by accepting probation, which may or may not include house arrest or GPS monitoring. It is extremely important to submit to all requirements of probation, including check-ins and drug testing if ordered, as you could be sent to jail for violating probation. 
  • Mental health programs - Illinois offers some programs aimed at treating the root cause of a person’s offense, which is often mental illness. These are intensive programs designed to provide counseling and supervision while keeping the offender in the community instead of in jail. 

Your attorney can help you determine whether you may qualify for any of these alternatives to incarceration.

Contact an Arlington Heights, IL, Criminal Defense Lawyer

Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law is committed to helping offenders who can safely remain in the community avoid jail time. Scott F. Anderson, an experienced Rolling Meadows, IL, criminal defense attorney, will do all he can to preserve your freedom. Contact us at 847-253-3400 for a free consultation.

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