No one wants to go to jail if they can help it. If you’ve been charged with an offense in Mississippi, you’re probably wondering whether you can possibly pursue some kind of alternative sentence instead of going to jail. While your options depend entirely on your unique situation, these alternatives do exist. Learning more about these options can provide you with greater confidence as you approach this difficult situation.
In order to give yourself the best chance of pursuing these alternatives, you should work with a qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney in Mississippi. These legal professionals can not only help you understand your options, but they can also help you pursue these alternative sentences in an effective manner.
It’s Easier to Avoid Incarceration if You’re a First-Time Offender
The first thing you need to know is that judges are much more likely to be lenient toward first-time offenders. For a number of crimes, the penalties specifically state that first-time offenders be treated lightly. As long as the crime is not considered a serious offense, you will have the opportunity to pursue a number of alternatives:
- Pretrial diversion: You admit guilt but avoid conviction. Instead of going to jail, you go on a program similar to probation. This involves supervision, the payment of restitution, and potential drug tests.
- Non-Adjudication: You enter a guilty plea, and the court declines to enter a finding of guilt. Instead of incarceration, you pay fines and restitution. You are also placed on probation.
Young People Also Have a Better Chance
Particularly in Mississippi, young people also have a stronger chance of avoiding incarceration. Recently, a well-known judge went public with his own sentencing policy for young people. He stated:
“I believe in alternative sentencing especially when dealing with young people who have accepted responsibility for their wrongs. I believe that by giving the young people unexpected choices or alternatives to jail or a fine I can have a bigger impact on their lives and futures. I really favor rehabilitation over pure punishment.”
If you’re not a young person or a first-time offender, there are still sentencing alternatives available to you. These include:
- Community Service
- Drug/Alcohol Rehab Programs
- Work Release
- House Arrest
- Education Programs
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
If you’ve been searching for a qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney in Mississippi, look no further than Ballard Law, PLLC. Thanks to a wealth of experience in a wide variety of criminal cases, we can help defendants pursue a variety of potential alternatives to jail. Our offices are conveniently located in Jackson, so don’t hesitate to reach out today. During your consultation, we can go over your options for alternative sentencing and help you move forward in the most efficient way possible.
Ballard Law, PLLC
108 S President St.
Jackson, MS 39201