When you have been arrested and charged with a crime, you may see your future as being bleak. Indeed, depending on the type of criminal offense you were arrested for and the surrounding details of your case, there may be significant and harsh penalties including expensive fines and many years behind bars. But sometimes, you can get out of having to go to jail by way of probation.
Often, a defendant will be more accepting of a deal if there are lesser charges than what they were originally facing and if probation instead of jail is included. While there are benefits to probation, there are also terms associated with your probation that you must follow because if you violate them you will find yourself heading back to jail.
Understanding your rights after an arrest and protecting your interests can be done with the help of the experienced San Diego criminal defense lawyer David M. Boertje.
Why Prosecutors Might Offer Probation
Typically, when a person is facing criminal charges that they have little chance of overcoming or having dropped, securing probation is the preferred next best outcome. While there are many people who know they dodged a bullet when being granted probation and because of this will abide by all the necessary terms, others have a more difficult time following the probation guidelines.
When a prosecutor knows that it will be an uphill and challenging task to get a conviction for the charges at hand, they may opt for an alternative way to resolve a case without going to trial. In these instances, it is common for the prosecution to offer probation as a part of the adjusted sentence.
But, the prosecution may have ulterior motives in offering such reduced penalties. Prosecutors that know they may not be able to get the desired outcome in court, and could use probation as a means to improve their chances of getting that conviction they want against you.
For instance, if you are arrested and charged with felony possession of some type of controlled substance and you have a past history of arrests for illegal drug possession, there is the real possibility that you could be convicted. But if you actually never had the drugs on your person at the time of your arrest, and the drugs were only in your vicinity, a jury could also conclude that there is not enough evidence to show the drugs were yours and that you were going to use them.
So, instead of taking chances in court, the prosecution may defer to probation knowing that if left to your own devices, you will probably use those drugs while on probation. A simple drug test can show that you are using the drug and that you had the intent to control it. When this happens, you will be in violation of the terms of your sentence and now, the prosecution has the ability to send you to jail. Continue reading