Criminal charges can severely affect your life. In addition to the potential jail time and high legal fines, you could also be left with a permanent record that could affect your residence and career choices later on. This is why it is especially troublesome when a teen or young adult is faced with criminal or drug charges. A single mistake at a young age can set the path for their entire adult life.
How to avoid letting it ruin your life
You made a mistake. You committed a crime. Even now, you can see that it was wrong, but you are still being threatened with permanent legal charges. You are still faced with potentially spending time in jail. Fortunately, the legal system recognizes mistakes and if this is a first time offense, many judges are willing to work with your, as long as you have learned your lesson. These legal negotiations often require an experienced criminal defense attorney. The criminal defense attorney will usually fight for some type of a plea bargain.
Why you need the services of a criminal defense attorney
Drug charges or theft charges are serious charges that often come with minimal jail time. If you want to reduce your chances of spending time in jail, you will usually need to use the services of a criminal defense attorney. The attorney has the knowledge and resources available to look at previous cases and use these cases in reducing your sentence. They will also assist you through the entire legal process, ensuring that you know what is going on, every step of the way.
Pleading for education over jail time
In many cases, judges will allow people to attend educational classes or drug counseling instead of serving jail time. If you can prove that these classes or counseling sessions will benefit you, the judge is more likely to offer them. Additionally, devices like in vehicle breathalyzers can be negotiated for cases involved DUIs. Devices that are installed in the vehicles of people who have been convicted of driving while impaired, they prevent operation of the vehicle by anyone with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above a specified safe level (usually 0.02% to 0.04%). When installed, interlocks are associated with nearly a 70% reduction in re arrest rates for impaired driving.
The importance of showing remorse
If you have realized that you made a mistake, it is important to show remorse. In fact, this can help your case and reduce your chances of spending time in jail. The specifics of your charges will usually be considered when deciding if a mistake was made, or if the actions would be repeated. For example, violent crimes are going to have a harder time reaching a negotiation, whereas nonviolent thefts are usually going to receive some type of a plea deal. In 2014, there were an estimated 1,165,383 violent crimes (murder and nonnegligent homicides, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults) reported by law enforcement. These are the types of crimes that the judge wants to take up jail cells, not minor drug charges that were considered a mistake.
The legal system is very complex and confusing. If you are faced with minor drug charges, you could be forced to serve jail time with a criminal that was charged with murder. The highest number of arrests was for drug abuse violations (1,561,231), followed by larceny theft (1,238,190) and driving under the influence (1,117,852). Fortunately, working with a criminal defense attorney reduces your jail time chances and gives you the ability to negotiate a plea deal. Many young adults make legal mistakes and this gives them the opportunity to deal with their mistake, without allowing it to ruin the rest of their life.