As a Jacksonville criminal attorney, I have represented many people in Duval County FL. I also receive a lot telephone calls from people that have been arrested in Northeast Florida. People will often ask, “How long will I go to jail?” It is very hard to answer this question. This is a question that you need to ask you Jacksonville criminal lawyer. It is not something that an attorney can just answer over the telephone. Your Jacksonville lawyer knows things about your case that other attorneys do not know. Every criminal case is different. There are several factors involved.
- What type of charge are you facing? You were arrested for a certain criminal charge or charges. Just because you were arrested for a crime, it does not mean that this is the same crime that you will answer to in court. The Duval County State Attorney’s Office must make a filing decision. Sometimes, the state attorney files a different charge. This is beneficial if the state attorney files a lesser offense. The opposite can happen as well. This means that the state attorney could look at the facts of the case and decide to increase the charges. The state attorney may make the decision to reduce a charge from a felony to a misdemeanor. The state attorney may decline to prosecute the case. This is something that you need to discuss with your Jacksonville criminal lawyer. It is important that your attorney approaches this issue immediately. You do not want to wait until arraignment to hire an attorney, because the prosecutor usually has already made a filing decision by that time.
- Are you facing serious criminal charges? The more serious your criminal charges, the more likely it is that you will serve time in the Duval County Jail or Florida State Prison. Misdemeanor cases may result in Duval County jail time. Felony sentences may lead to prison time.
- Does your charge carry a minimum sentence? When you are sentenced to a felony, you will have a score sheet. This score sheet will list a minimum and maximum sentence. This score sheet takes into account many factors, including the crime that you are being sentenced to and your criminal record in Florida and elsewhere.
- What does your record look like? A bad record will not only be taken into account on a Florida sentencing score sheet, but it will also be taken into account when the state attorney makes an offer for a plea deal and when the judge decides your sentence.
- Do you have sufficient mitigation? Mitigation is very important in a criminal case. When you are a defendant in a criminal case, you are painted as a criminal. You want mitigation to show that you are a good person and a productive member of the community. You should always talk to your Jacksonville attorney about mitigation.
- Are you not guilty? If you are found not guilty by a judge or jury, you will not go to jail or prison. You cannot be sentenced on a crime if you are found not guilty. You cannot be guilty of any of the crimes that you are charged with or lesser offenses. You must be not guilty of everything if you do not want to face sentencing at all.
There are other factors involved in fighting a criminal charge and preparing for sentencing. If you have been arrested in Jacksonville, contact a Duval County lawyer as soon as possible. Call 20 Miles Law at (904) 564-2525.