As the times change, so do many of the attitudes governing the criminal justice system. Changes in the criminal justice system can have a direct impact on your life. If you face a criminal charge, knowing about how some of these changes are happening, can help you and your lawyer with your case.
The Law is the Law, Right?
The truth is that all law, not just criminal law, is open to interpretation. Not only that, but outside factors can influence your case as well. For example, in some districts, a non-violent offense can mean probation rather than jail time. This is especially true of areas that have overcrowded prisons.
These are the types of things that come from change. It can go further as well. Keeping with the same example, it's possible that you can receive probation. It's also possible you can receive admission to a program that can help you look for work, or therapy that can help you deal with issues.
The point is that the criminal justice system is starting to realize that for many offenders, jail and prison isn't the answer. For some, education and help saves the county a lot more money in the long run, and reduces recidivism. In fact, costs and speed are two factors that drive a lot of the change in the court system.
Keeping it Quick and Saving Money
Some of the changes in the criminal justice system involve improving speed in order to save money. Some criminal cases can drag on for months, and even years sometimes. Every second that passes in your case costs money. It costs you money, it costs the court money, and it costs taxpayers money.
If you're facing a criminal charge, you probably don't want your case dragging on and on before it reaches a conclusion. The longer a case lasts, the more opportunity there is for something to go wrong. What happens when you go in to court repeatedly like you're supposed to, and then accidentally miss a single date? It can throw your entire case and your freedom into jeopardy.
To help prevent such things, many districts have put limits on the amount of time that can go by before a case goes to trial. They also have time limits on how long it can take before someone on bail can go to trial. In these types of schemes, priority often goes to those that aren't on bail or those that cannot make bail.
Some courts are also allowing online courtrooms to clear up some court congestion and help those that cannot easily make it back and forth to court. Many courts also allow a lot of things to occur on websites, such as payments, scheduling, and pleas. All of this serves to make the processes quicker and save the court money.
Ask Your Lawyer about Possible Changes
These changes in the system can work for you and your case, especially if you and your lawyer are aware of them. Sometimes, courts will have initiatives and programs the public isn't aware of. Your lawyer, especially if he or she is a local lawyer, might just know about these things.
If you're facing criminal charges for any reason, speak to a criminal lawyer as soon as possible. Make sure that you ask about the possibility that the court is implementing or testing any initiatives or innovations. It's possible that a new change is taking place that can help you and your case immensely. Your lawyer can work to insist that you are a good candidate for such initiatives.