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Knowing how to handle prior convictions can be crucial

On Behalf of | Feb 11, 2022 | Firm News |

Getting accused of a felony in Florida may mean that you will go to trial to await your fate. If you’ve had prior convictions for anything in the past, you may be worried that they can count against you for this current allegation.

Access to prior criminal offenses can be detrimental

After you’ve been accused of a felony, a prosecutor will likely examine your criminal records to see if you have any prior convictions. This action lets them know if you are a repeat offender, which is worse than committing a crime for the first time and will be dealt with accordingly. Increasing the penalty may be likely if you have become a repeat offender.

Violating parole

If you are currently on probation or following parole conditions and violate them, you may go back to jail if you commit the same or another crime. Harsh consequences will also be given if you have a suspended sentence. Likely, the charges will be reinstated.

Can predictive behavior be used to convict you?

Psychologists believe that you are likely to commit a crime again if you have done it in the past. An example would be receiving a DUI after being convicted of this crime. Fortunately, the law doesn’t view predictive behavior the same way as psychologists, and this view could not be used during a trial.

Should you take the stand during a trial if you have had prior convictions?

Knowing if you should take the stand and testify on your behalf when you have been convicted of committing a felony can be a dilemma. Doing so will put your credibility on the line as a witness, which could be a severe issue. It’s highly likely that the prosecutor will research your past criminal history and discover any convictions you might have. Asking about these during a trial may make you look like a criminal who deserves to be convicted, which doesn’t help your cause.

If you’re in this position, it’s essential to do all you can to avoid being convicted. Knowing how to handle the prior criminal charges pretrial and during a trial can be crucial to the outcome of your case.