The thought of spending months or years in prison can unnerve even the strongest of people. Apart from the loss of freedom, a criminal sentence can cause you to lose your family, job, and social reputation.

That said, prison sentences are not always handed out fairly. It is possible—and rather common—to be handed an unnecessarily long sentence for a minor crime. Fortunately, there are different ways you can reduce a criminal sentence.

Pre-Sentencing Options

The best time to reduce a criminal sentence is usually before sentencing. Here are ways to convince a judge to give you a lesser sentence.

Hire a Criminal Lawyer

An experienced criminal defense attorney can identify potential weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. They can also negotiate plea deals so you can get reduced charges or lighter sentences. Moreover, a lawyer can help you avoid incarceration by filing for alternatives like probation and community service.

Present Some Mitigating Evidence

Gather all potential documentation to prove that you deserve a lesser sentence. This may include evidence of past or present mental health conditions.

Cooperate With Law Enforcement

During the trial, demonstrate a high level of cooperation with both the police and the prosecution. Provide any information promptly and truthfully, and assist in investigations if and when asked to.

Strictly Follow Court Orders

If you are out on bail during the trial, read through the bail conditions and follow them to the letter. Breaking even a single bail condition can lead to cancellation of the bail terms. Most importantly, avoid getting into further legal trouble. Additional criminal charges may dent your case.

Post-Sentencing Options

Admittedly, your chances of reducing your sentence are drastically lower after the sentencing date. Still, you can get an early release from prison by exhibiting good behavior. Alternatively, you can appeal your conviction at a higher court with a view of either overturning the sentence or reducing it. Grounds for appeal vary from case to case.

Hire a Seasoned Attorney

If you are facing criminal charges with the possibility of a lengthy criminal sentence, our criminal defense attorneys at The Williams Litigation Group are here to help. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.