Consequences of Criminal Convictions
The Consequences for Criminal Convictions
Whether if you are looking to stay out of jail, avoid prison, stay off of probation, or just keep a conviction off of your record, the criminal defense lawyers at Kurtz & Blum, PLLC in Raleigh can help. Here we discuss the potential consequences for criminal convictions.
If you are found guilty of a crime it is up to the judge to impose a sentence as punishment. A sentence can include anything from fines to probation to imprisonment, all of which are direct consequences of being found guilty. The only alternative to imposing a sentence is known as a prayer for judgment continued (PJC) which is a conviction without a sentence. There are limitations as to when a judge can give a defendant a PJC; they are discussed on our PJC page. If you are given a PJC, you will still typically need to pay the cost of court.
Some people hire attorneys because they want to get out of a fine. In fact, fines are among the least serious of punishments and are typically reserved for minor and first time offenses. Fines can also be included with other punishments in more serious cases or if you possess a prior criminal record. Fines will also be given to pay for your incarceration or probation. Even if you are just sentenced to pay a fine, it is still a criminal conviction. If you cannot pay the fine the day the judge sentences you, you will be given some time to get the money together. It is generally not our goal to simply get a client out of a fine. We first try to avoid a conviction and then, if necessary, work to reduce punishment to nothing more than a fine. In the scheme of the criminal justice system, fines are among the least painful outcomes.
Paying a fine is not an option, and you cannot just ignore it in hopes that you will get out of the fine. If you do not pay it, and the court finds that you are able to pay it, you can go to jail.
If you are sentenced to probation, it could be either unsupervised or supervised. Regardless, following the terms of your probation is essential and probation attorneys, criminal defense attorneys who are experienced in handling probation cases like those at Kurtz & Blum, PLLC, can help you if you are found to have violated the terms of your probation.
- Unsupervised probation can be thought of as little more than a warning given to those convicted of smaller crimes with little or no criminal record. If you are sentence to unsupervised probation, you will be free to leave court that day and will successfully complete probation if you are not convicted of any other crimes during the probation period. If you do violate your unsupervised probation a judge may sentence you to active time. You should have a seasoned defense lawyer by your side before walking into a violation hearing.
- Conditions of supervised probation include the need for you to check in with a probation officer, pay a supervision fee, and potentially encompasses a host of other restrictions or obligations like maintaining employment or drug testing.
If you are sentenced to prison or jail time, the judge will follow structured sentencing to determine the time you will spend incarcerated. Jail holds those awaiting trial as well as people sentenced to incarceration for less than a year. Prison holds those convicted of crimes and sentenced to incarceration in excess of six months.
Our Raleigh criminal lawyers help people throughout Wake County, North Carolina. We frequently handle offenses arising out of the following cities: Wake Forest, Raleigh, Morrisville, Wendell, Fuquay-Varina, Holly Springs, New Hope, Apex, Zebulon, Garner, Rolesville, Cary, and Knightdale.