FAIRFAX ATTORNEY WILL FIGHT FOR ALTERNATIVE SENTENCING
If you are convicted of a criminal charge in Virginia, it does not necessarily mean that you will be going to jail or prison. The state provides several alternative sentencing programs – alternatives to jail or prison – for the convicted offenders who qualify.
Alternative sentencing is intended not only as rehabilitation but also as punishment, so the sentence must fit the crime. Offenders convicted of violent felonies and those with extensive criminal records usually are not eligible for an alternative sentencing program.
HOW DOES ALTERNATIVE SENTENCING HELP CONVICTED OFFENDERS?
Alternative sentencing allows some offenders to keep their jobs, remain in their communities, and provide for their families. Other programs provide treatment, therapy, and counseling to convicted offenders who are struggling with drug and alcohol dependency issues.
If you are not guilty of a criminal charge, you should contest the charge and fight to clear your name with the help of a good defense attorney. But if the evidence against you is persuasive and a conviction is certain, your defense lawyer will negotiate for reduced or alternative sentencing.
WHAT ALTERNATIVE SENTENCING PROGRAMS ARE AVAILABLE?
A convicted offender’s eligibility for an alternative sentencing program usually hinges on the nature of the crime and on the offender’s prior criminal record. Alternative sentencing in the Fairfax area includes these programs and options:
- Weekend confinement: Judges let some convicted offenders serve their sentences on weekends so they may keep their jobs. Fairfax County’s weekend confinement program has offenders appear by 6:00 p.m. on Fridays. They’re released at 8:00 a.m. on Mondays.
- Probation: Instead of a jail or prison term, many convicted offenders in Virginia are sentenced instead to probation. If the terms and conditions of probation are violated, a judge can revoke the probation and send the offender to jail or prison.
- Work release: Some convicted offenders in some Virginia jurisdictions will be eligible for a work release program that releases them from jail so that they may go to work each day.
- Community service: For some convicted offenders, community service will be ordered rather than jail time. A judge typically determines a specific number of community service hours that the offender must serve.
- Community Labor Force Offender Program: In Fairfax County, convicted misdemeanor and traffic offenders who are considered “low-risk” may avoid jail by working on community beautification and revitalization efforts.
- House arrest: House arrest or “electronic incarceration” allows convicted offenders to live at their homes and retain their jobs. The offender must wear an electronic monitoring device and pay part of the cost of the device.
- Fines Option Program: In Fairfax County, this alternative sentencing program allows convicted offenders to perform community service to “work off” court costs and fines instead of paying cash.
YOUR ATTORNEY SHOULD KNOW THE SENTENCING ALTERNATIVES
If you are charged with a crime in the Fairfax area, you’ll need to consult with a Fairfax criminal defense attorney who knows and understands the sentencing alternatives that are offered by the criminal courts.
As mentioned above, a defense lawyer’s first job is to fight for a defendant’s freedom – to have the charge dismissed or to have a jury return a not guilty verdict. But if that’s not possible, you must be represented by a defense lawyer who is familiar with the alternative sentencing options.
The first step to take after any arrest is to contact and speak with a reliable criminal defense lawyer. Do not answer any questions asked by the police – you have the right to remain silent – and do not accept any deal or plea agreement until you have been advised by your attorney.
WHEN SHOULD YOU SEEK AN ATTORNEY’S HELP?
To provide you with sound legal advice and an effective defense strategy, a good defense lawyer will need some time to investigate and review your case. If you are charged with a crime in Northern Virginia, you should start looking for a good defense attorney immediately.
Since 2000, Fairfax criminal defense attorney Scott C. Nolan has defended thousands of clients accused of serious crimes in Northern Virginia. He is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the National College for DUI Defense.
Attorney Scott C. Nolan will review the charge or charges against you, find and exploit any flaws in the prosecution’s case, and offer an appropriate and effective defense to the court. Whether the charge is a simple traffic violation or a crime of violence, he can help you.
To learn more or to schedule a legal consultation, call Scott C. Nolan’s law offices or contact him online. If your future and your freedom are at risk because you’ve been charged with a crime, promptly get the legal help you need. That is your right.