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how to get a troubled teen back on track

Unfortunately, my son got caught up with the wrong group of kids over the last summer. It was not until the police officers brought him home that I learned of what he and his new group of friends were up to. I knew at that moment that I was going to need a lawyer to help me help him through the situation. My lawyer was so helpful in many ways. By the time we worked our way through the legal process, my son was able to walk away without any charges that could threaten his future. Visit my site to learn what can be done for a troubled teen to get him or her back on the right track.

how to get a troubled teen back on track

Arrested? Understand The Sentencing Possibilities

by Bernard Rice

A lot of things can happen between the time of an arrest and the sentencing portion of the process. However, the sentence handed down by the judge will inevitably have a huge impact on your life. Sentencing, otherwise known as punishment after being convicted of criminal charges, may be only the beginning of things or it might be the final action. Read on to find out more about criminal sentencing.

What About Sentencing Guidelines?

Laws always come with several options for sentencing. In most cases, judges and prosecutors can choose from several forms of punishment that vary depending on individual circumstances. However, many states have enacted mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines. That means there is little to no wiggle room when it comes to sentencing because it's mandated by state law. For example, third-time DUI offenders might have to go to prison for a year or more under some mandatory guidelines. If your charge is connected to a mandatory sentence, your best bet is to get a criminal defense attorney and hope they can get your charges knocked down to a lesser offense.

Plea Bargains Await Some Defendants

In lots of cases, defendants are offered a plea bargain. Plea bargains involve several aspects of a charge. For example, a plea bargain could provide that:

  • Some charges are dropped but you agree to plead guilty to others.
  • Some charges are reduced as long as you plead guilty and avoid a trial.
  • Charges are lessened in degree or counts in return for a guilty plea.
  • Charges may be dropped if you agree to an alternative sentencing plan.

For defendants, plea deals may or may not be a good offer and only a criminal defense lawyer can help you figure that out.

Alternative Sentencing Actions

In many cases, punishment without rehabilitation is an empty action. Alternative sentencing programs often help those arrested and charged with certain types of crimes to avoid not only sentencing but a criminal record. Not everyone will be eligible for alternative sentencing plans, however. First-time offenders and those charged with drug or alcohol offenses are usually the targets of this type of sentencing. These plans include frequent contact between the defendant and court officials, counseling and educational programs, drug and alcohol testing, community service hours, and more. Many of those arrested are unaware of alternative sentencing programs in their local area and that is why it pays to have a local attorney on your case who is plugged in to the prosecutor's office and knows what is available.

Speak to a criminal defense lawyer about your charges at your earliest convenience. No matter what your charges are, your lawyer will understand how to support and advise you as you get through this experience successfully.