If I’m Convicted, Do I Have to Go to Jail?


Being charged with a crime is a frightening and life-changing experience. You may assume that you’ll have to spend at least some time behind bars, however, incarceration may not be necessary in your case nor is it always the best option for reducing the risk of recidivism. Depending on the case, a person convicted of a crime may be eligible for incarceration alternatives. 

Instead of going to jail, you may be able to: 

Pay Fines or Restitution   

If the crime you were convicted of was relatively minor and generally resulted only in financial loss to the victim(s), you may be ordered to pay restitution or fines instead of being incarcerated. For example, if you were charged and convicted of disorderly conduct outside a business, you may be required to pay restitution to the business to reimburse them for lost sales. 

Go to Rehab or Anger Management 

You may not have to serve jail time if a judge believes you can be helped more by attending long-term rehabilitation or anger management courses. What classes you are required to attend and for how long largely depends on the nature of the crime you were convicted of. 

Do Community Service 

You may be able to do community service instead of going to jail if the crime you were convicted of was a misdemeanor or you lack any kind of previous criminal record. Community service is usually tailored to the crime and can be an effective means at reducing recidivism. 

Serve Your Time Under House Arrest 

You may be able to serve your time under house arrest instead of in jail if you meet certain criteria. For example, house arrest is usually offered to defendants who haven’t committed any other crimes in the past and who were convicted of non-violent crimes. Offenders with a criminal record or who committed a violent crime against another person are less likely to be eligible for house arrest. 

Can a Criminal Defense Attorney Help Me Avoid Incarceration? 

If your criminal case is unsuccessful and the charges against you aren’t dropped or reduced, an experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you avoid serious penalties and even keep you out of jail in some circumstances. 

Contact Scott Cerbin Criminal Defense today for an initial consultation to discuss the details of your criminal case and how you can best protect your rights and interests after being arrested for a crime at 718-596-1829. 

By : First Page Attorney | January 12, 2021 | Criminal Defense

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I am attorney Scott G. Cerbin, Esq., and my firm is located in downtown Brooklyn near the Borough Hall and Jay Street stops. The Law Office Of Scott G. Cerbin, Esq., PLLC, offers free initial consultations to individuals living within all five New York City boroughs. You can reach me at any hour of the day or night, regardless of the complexity of your issue.

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