Here in California, the potential penalties and sentencing guidelines are somewhat flexible, meaning judges have discretion when doling out sentences to defendants. California judges use many factors to set the severity of the penalty and length of potential jail time when sentencing criminal defendants. Being a first-time offender with no prior criminal history can certainly encourage the judge to go easy on you or even suspend your entire jail sentence. Judges are required in some cases to issue harsher sentences to repeat offenders.
Though some felony offenses come with several years (or a life sentence) in prison or jail, you’re not guaranteed to live behind bars. In some cases, judges can give you a suspended sentence, also known as felony probation. Your sentence in jail or prison would be suspended pending your successful completion of your defined probation period.
The facts and circumstances of your offense will also play a role in determining whether the judge will sentence you to serve jail time or grant you felony probation. The presence of aggravating factors can lead to a harsher sentence.
Many California offenses have statutory minimum and maximum penalties to guide judges, and some offenses even come with mandatory punishments. If you’re facing charges for an offense that has mandatory punishments, it’s critical to have a seasoned criminal defense attorney on your side. Your attorney could look into getting your charges reduced to an offense that does not have attached mandatory penalties.
If you’re facing charges for a felony offense, regardless of whether you’re a first-time offender or not, you need an experienced California criminal defense attorney on your side. Your attorney can explain the potential penalties the court will consider and help you build your defense for the most favorable outcome possible.
At the Carlos Navarrete Law Firm, we have extensive experience crafting strategic defenses to help clients avoid jail time in all types of criminal cases. We have the skills, knowledge, and resources needed to defend your rights and protect your freedom. Through our guidance, you can be confident you’re making informed decisions, especially when it comes to determining whether negotiating a settlement or taking your case to trial is your best recourse.
For more information about how the Carlos Navarrete Law Firm can help with your criminal charge, call to schedule a consultation!