Anyone who has ever disputed a charge on their bill knows that it usually doesn’t go well. If you dispute a charge with your cable company, cell phone provider, or any type of service provider, odds are they won’t take it well. If you dispute a charge with your car insurance company, you probably won’t get very far. However, if you dispute a charge from the jail or prison where you are currently an inmate things might get even worse for you. Can You Go to Jail for Disputing Charges?
Can You Go to Jail for Disputing Charges?
If you are arrested and charged with a crime, you can go to jail for disputing a charge. If you are in jail (and not on a promise to appear), however, you can’t dispute the charge. Instead, you can ask to be released from jail on your own recognizance (with no bail). If this happens, you promise to appear in court. If you do not appear in court as promised, you can go to jail. If you are arrested and charged with a crime, you should talk with a lawyer as soon as possible. They can help you navigate through the situation and protect your rights in court.
What Happens When You Go to Jail Over a Charge?
1. Loss of Liberty
The loss of liberty is arguably the biggest and most noteworthy aspect of going to jail over a charge. When you’re in jail, you’re losing your ability to be free, walk around wherever you want, and make your own decisions without the State’s input. When you go to jail over a charge, you could be facing anywhere between a few hours to several years of imprisonment. The average stay in jail is about a month, though the length of your stay could be longer depending on a variety of factors like the severity of the crime and whether it’s a first-time offense. On top of the length of your stay, the State may require you to abide by several other restrictions such as not being able to interact with certain people, obtaining permission to leave the State, restricted access to facilities like the internet, and much more.
2. Loss of Freedom of Choice
When you go to jail over a charge, you have no say in where you’re going to be staying while detained. While you may be able to request a certain facility, the State ultimately has the say in where you go. As part of the booking process, you could be sent to go a medical facility or be put into solitary confinement depending on the severity of your charge. For example, someone charged with a violent crime may be kept in a medical facility to receive treatment or be kept away from the rest of the population in solitary confinement.
3. Possible Job Loss
Depending on the severity of your charge, you may lose your job after going to jail over a charge. For example, if you’re charged with a drug offense, you could be fired from your job given that many employers have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to drug use. In fact, one study found that one-third of employers would fire someone for a single drug charge, regardless of whether the person was actually convicted of the crime. Even if you don’t lose your job as a result of going to jail over a charge, you could end up having a hard time securing a new one. Because of the stigma that comes with criminal charges, you could be left without a source of income if you don’t take the necessary steps to keep yourself safe.
4. Potential Criminal Record
One of the most serious consequences of going to jail over a charge is the potential for a criminal record. If you’re convicted of your crime, you’ll be added to the criminal record, which means that your charge will never go away. However, if you’re not convicted of your crime, there’s a chance that your charge will be erased from your criminal record. If you’re facing a first-time offense and can avoid going to jail over a charge, it’s possible that your lawyer can negotiate a plea bargain. This means that the prosecutor may drop your charge and you may be able to walk away without a criminal record.
Is It Illegal to Go to Jail Just for Disputing a Charge?
Not every dispute over a charge results in jail time. In fact, most disputes don’t lead to jail time. The majority of businesses that deal with consumers have some type of dispute resolution process in place. In most cases, unless you are a repeat offender, they will try to resolve the situation outside of court. In some circumstances, you can go to jail for disputing a charge. The charge must be a felony, and you can’t just be refusing to pay the full amount. Instead, you must be disputing the charge itself. There are two scenarios in which you can be charged with a felony for disputing a charge:
- You are in jail, and you dispute the charges related to your arrest. This can happen if you promise to appear in court or pay the charges at a future date, but then you go back on your word.
- Someone else is in jail, and they dispute the charges related to their arrest. This can happen if they promise to appear in court or pay the charges at a future date, but then they go back on their word.
What If You Don’t Want to Go to Jail?
- If you don’t want to go to jail, you should probably try to negotiate a deal outside of court. In many cases, you can avoid jail time by promising to pay restitution to the person or business you wronged.
- Even if you can’t afford to pay the full amount right away, you can promise to pay a certain amount per month until the debt is repaid.
- If you are arrested and charged with a crime, your best bet is to cooperate with the authorities and attempt to negotiate a deal with the prosecutor as soon as possible.
- You want to be as honest as possible so you don’t end up lying and making the situation even worse for yourself.
What If You Are Not Guilty?
- If you are not guilty, you should try to dispute the charges as soon as possible.
- You can also reach out to an attorney who can help you navigate through the situation.
- An attorney can help you build a strong defense, negotiate with the prosecutor, and protect your rights in court.
- An attorney may also be able to talk with the business that brought the charges against you, negotiate a deal, and resolve the dispute before it gets out of hand.
If you are charged with a crime, you should dispute the charges as soon as possible. You don’t want to miss the deadline and have the charges go on your record. If you are arrested and charged with a crime, you should dispute the charges as soon as possible and talk with a lawyer as soon as possible. If you are in jail, you want to dispute the charges as soon as possible. And if you are charged with a crime and want to avoid going to jail, you want to dispute the charges as soon as possible.