Interviewer: In some minor theft charges, a lot of people think that just paying the fine would help get them off the hook, is there any truth to that?
Court Koehler: No. It’s common for people to try to avoid jail time by paying fines and that exists for all different kinds of charges. They will say, “Can I just pay larger fine and not do the jail time”, and things like that. Typically the answer is no. The judge is going to sentence you however he or she deems necessary and I can’t really make an argument with a straight face, “Well, your honor, my client would be totally fine paying more money if they just could not do jail”, or, “We could plead to this lower charge and my client will accept a higher fine payment”. It’s not something that judges are going to be willing to do.
Once a Person Gets Charged, there are Statutory Minimum Sentences for each Charge
Once you get charged with the crime, there’s baseline, statutory minimum sentences with each charge. That’s the kind of thing that you’re dealing with and you’re going to have to play ball in that arena so to speak. So, each charge is going to have a mandatory minimum fine for that particular charge or mandatory minimum jail sentence. Unless you can convince the prosecutor to charge you with something different, you are not going to be able to play with the fines and the mandatory minimum sentences because first of all, the judge doesn’t really usually want to do that and second of all, even if they did, they can’t because by statute, they are required to sentence to a certain minimum for a given crime.
Criminal Defense Attorney Generally Offer Free Consultations to their Clients
Interviewer: Is there anything else that you’d want your readers to know about in regards to theft crimes?
Court Koehler: If you are reading this and you have a theft charge, give me a call and we can talk about your situation on a free consultation. So, there is really no reason for you to not give me a call and if you are nervous or unsure about what you’re facing, give me a call and we can talk about it.
A Competent Attorney Can Analyze the Facts and Make the Client Aware of their Options
Interviewer: If I had a theft charge, is it going to be something that’s so unpredictable, where you really don’t know what’s going to happen, or if I gave you a call during my initial consultation, could you get an idea of how that case might play out?
Court Koehler: Yes. I can’t give you a real great idea of your chances at trial, for instance, until I see the evidence that the prosecutor has against you. But what I can do is I can usually give you a good idea of best case scenario and a worst case scenario. So, yes, I can help you understand what your best options are and kind of what you’re looking at in general, sure.