Does Someone Get Sent To Jail Immediately After Sentencing?
It depends. Like in Wisconsin, if you have a third time DUI, they have a mandatory 180 days sentence and the minute you plead guilty, even before your sentence, you start serving your time, which is pretty offensive but it wasn’t a discretionary thing with the judge as far as the legislature is concerned. Most of the time, you don’t go to jail until it’s time for sentencing. However, let’s say you’re out on bond on a murder case and the jury comes back guilty, at that point, the state’s going to make a motion to increase your bond or revoke your bond and the judge may very well take you into custody until the sentencing figuring you know what, there’s a non-probationable 20-year minimum sentence. I am not going to take the chance you flee the jurisdiction. I am locking you up until all this is done.
Most of the times, unless something super severe, the state won’t really move to revoke your bail, like if it’s really a bad person. Let’s say it’s someone who is portrayed as a very high ranking member of gangs and they’re worried about retaliation and this and that, they might scoop them right on the day he’s found guilty but most of the time they’re not. If they’re out on bond and made other appearances, keeping in mind the bond is always supposed to do two things. One, ensure the defendant’s presence in court and other is to protect the public. So those things are both weighed evenly by the judge in determining whether to let them stay out or not while it’s pending a sentencing.
How Can Someone Mitigate Their Case Prior To Sentencing?
You want to be fully cooperative with the probation person who’s writing the pre-sentence investigation because the last thing you need is a comment from the probation writer saying, “I think the defendant had a very bad attitude towards this whole thing, he was not cooperative, wasn’t forthcoming, was trying to point the blame somewhere else, got no responsibility, was not remorseful”. Those are the things you do not want in the sentencing. You want to hear just the opposite, “The client was very forthcoming, seemed genuinely remorseful, taking responsibility for their actions”, the judge wants to see someone is still in the right direction, not that someone is still pointing the finger in the other direction saying, “I got screwed, this isn’t what happened”, etc.
Now, you always get a little bit of problem where someone’s still maintaining their innocence. If it’s a close case, they’re maintaining their innocent and they’re found guilty and I always got mad at the judge if they’d even point that out, I say, “Look, how can you expect them to accept responsibility for something he is still claiming he didn’t do”, and we will pursue other avenues of appeal. So you just got to deal with it as it comes up but if someone’s very fully cooperative and contrite and have the right attitude, that again is something that a good defense attorney should prepare their client for so they understand what’s coming and to understand how to avoid those pitfalls.
Additional Information Regarding Sentencing
Fully confiding your attorney because anything you tell them is confidential anyway. The last thing an attorney wants is some bad surprise that comes up. Then all of a sudden, “Oh my God, I didn’t see this coming and there were three events that took place that nobody mentioned before but this could be lurking in the shadows”. You want to be ready for every inevitability. If it doesn’t, it’s better to over-prepare it, so I always tell my clients, “Look, I’d rather prepare you for the absolute worse, and if we do better than that, that’s wonderful”. But if you don’t tell me, and I am still going home at the end of the day as your attorney; you’re the one that’s going to get hammered. So I need complete truthfulness, complete and open candid conversation, and you got to be honest with your attorney.
Some clients think that, “Well, if I just keep telling them everything, he’s going to fight harder for me”. No, that’s not the case. I want to know what I am dealing with. I will still prepare the best defense for you available and the best sentencing available but the last thing I need to do is get up there, make some big speech about how you got no priors, you’ve never been in trouble before and then all of a sudden, they find out there are six different things and there’re different name you were using. Those are just brutal and it winds up obviously in a very severe sentence. So you have to be open and candid with your attorney is probably the best thing.
Obviously the most important thing is your attorney selection, so I hope you have someone who’s experienced and knows what they’re doing and you have confidence in them because it’s your future and your freedom that’s hanging on this. So those things are all very important.
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