Is It Possible to Avoid Prison Time for a Felony Charge?

There are many types of crimes that have been clearly defined in law. Criminal charges can be placed into two broad categories; felonies and misdemeanors. These categorizations are usually based on the maximum prison sentences that defendants can expect if they get convicted.

Any crime that comes with a prison sentence of one year or less can be referred to as a misdemeanor. A felony, therefore, can be defined as any crime that comes with a prison sentence of over one year.

If the law prescribes a maximum prison sentence of two years, but the judge hands a one-year prison sentence, the crime is still a felony, and not a misdemeanor as these categorizations are based on the maximum prison sentences. Please note that any crime that comes with a life sentence or a death sentence can also be considered a felony.

Types of Felonies

Tax evasion, securities fraud, murder, sexual offenses, assault, kidnapping, perjury, child pornography, extortion, blackmail, treason, obstruction of justice, and threatening an official (such as a police officer or judge) are all common types of felonies.

When charged and found guilty of these felonies, you can expect to spend over a year in jail. The question that most defendants often ask is – is it possible to avoid prison time for a felony charge? The answer is yes!

How to Avoid Prison Time for a Felony Charge

When meting out sentences, judges are expected to apply principles of proportionality. However, there are still minimum sentences to guide them. When charged with a felony, be sure to hire Chicago Trusted Attorneys to help you mount a strong criminal defense. After all, you do not want to go to jail for several years. The following are options for avoiding prison time when charged with a felony:

i) Probation

This is the best possible outcome. Instead of spending years in jail, the court may sentence you to several years of probation. This means that you will continue living your life as usual, but with certain limitations.

For starters, you will be required to avoid drug use, refrain from associating with convicted felons, pursue treatment, and maintain a steady job. Breach of probation terms and conditions will lead to automatic sentencing in prison.

ii) Dismissal of Charges or Acquittal

If you have a competent lawyer, you may be able to convince the court that the evidence is insufficient to sustain the felony charge. In such a case, the charges may be dismissed. A competent lawyer may even get a verdict of not guilty, which will lead to acquittal. Your lawyer will tell you about all the other options for avoiding prison sentences when charged with a felony.

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