Not necessarily. It really depends upon the level of violation and the charge itself. Many have accepted an unfair plea simply because they were promised that they would not get jail time. A number of these people probably had little or no risk of actually serving a jail sentence even if they went to trial and lost.
Most people who get misdemeanor charges do not go to jail on their first offense. In most cases this is because the district attorney could not get the judge to give a jail sentence to a first-time offender. For example, a class one misdemeanor, such as 3rd degree assault, is punishable by 6 months to 24 months in jail. However, the judge may and usually does suspend all or some of that jail time. It is best to have one of our attorneys look at your case to determine what a reasonable offer from the district attorney might be.
Individuals who are charged with felonies are looking at penalties ranging from 1 year to the rest of their life in prison. Again, in many cases it is possible and sometimes likely that the judge will forego any prison time in favor of probation. Further, many felony cases can be reduced to misdemeanors, or you may receive a deferred sentence (an agreement to stay out of trouble and comply with other specified conditions in return for a dismissal of the case). Additionally, the law and facts sometimes warrant that a case be totally dismissed.
Each case is different and you should have one of our attorneys review your situation before accepting any disposition to your case. Some criminal charges such as driving under restraint or suspension, sexual assaults, and statutory crimes of violence have mandatory jail or prison sentences. Information is power and to make an informed decision in your case you should consult one of our attorneys for a free initial consultation.
It is always best to contact an attorney as soon as you are charged with any crime. There are time limits and rules that must be followed to make sure that every opportunity to challenge and investigate the case against you is undertaken.