If you are sentenced to jail time, your entire life could change. Not only will you lose your freedom, you could also lose your job. However, you may be able to stay out of jail by seeking probation. If you are granted probation, you could live at your home, keep your job and not have to deal with all of the adverse consequences that occur when you sit in jail.
So, how can an experienced criminal defense attorney help you receive probation as part of your sentence?
How to Ask for Probation
California courts are given wide discretion when it comes to sentencing. The judge will take into account a number of factors, including the severity of the crime for which you were convicted and your prior criminal history (if any). The court is more likely to be lenient with your sentence if:
- Your crime was not a serious one that involved death or serious injury to another person, and
- You either have no history of prior criminal convictions
There are a number of ways to attempt to get probation as part of your sentence. First, consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Your lawyer will review your case, assess the factors involved, and develop a recommendation that the court punish you through probation instead of sending you to jail.
Your attorney can then take a few different paths. First, he or she can approach the prosecutor and determine whether a plea agreement can be made to keep you out of jail. In some cases, prosecutors are open to probation as part of a “plea deal” because it avoids the necessity of having to try the case. As part of a plea bargain, you will be required to plead guilty or no contest (nolo contender) to some criminal charge against you. This is one way your lawyer can help you secure probation instead of going to jail.
Another tactic is to make the case for probation to the judge at your sentencing. At sentencing, your attorney can argue that your punishment should only be in the form of probation. Your lawyer can call witnesses to testify about your good character and explain any mitigating factors that show probation is an appropriate punishment in your case.
Can I Talk to the Judge Myself?
You will be required to attend your sentencing hearing, and you have a right to speak at the hearing if you wish. You can discuss with your attorney whether any statement you make will be helpful, or whether it may hurt your chances at receiving probation.
If you decide to speak, you should work with your attorney to craft a statement to the court. Remain polite and courteous when speaking to the judge. Do not raise your voice or interrupt the judge, and always address him or her as “Your Honor.”
Contact the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
If you wish to seek probation in your case, you should contact a skilled criminal defense attorney immediately. At Wallin & Klarich, our knowledgeable criminal defense lawyers have been helping our clients obtain probation in criminal cases for more than 35 years. Let us help you now.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, San Diego, West Covina, Torrance and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you are located.
Contact our offices today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.