How Past Convictions Affect Court Proceedings
If you’ve been in trouble in the past, you might be wondering how your prior convictions can affect you if you’re facing new charges. It is important to keep in mind the rules about this issue vary depending on issues such as the venue as well as the seriousness of the new charges. There are certain factors that will ultimately impact your case. That’s why it is very helpful to contact a Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer if you are facing new changes. A criminal lawyer in Philadelphia, PA can help you understand what might happen and how to reduce that impact on your case.
After You’ve Been Arrested
In general, you will not necessarily be in legal trouble merely because you have a previous conviction. However, you might be facing additional charges because you have committed this type of crime before. For example, if you have been convicted of sex crimes before, the new charges may be considered more serious. A prior misdemeanor conviction can result in newer and far more serious felony charges. This can lead to a longer jail sentence or even a prison sentence. This can also lead to longer lasting consequences that are harder to defend.
If you are on parole, a prior conviction can affect your ability to remain on parole and stay out of prison. This can mean you’ll be back to prison if you are convicted of a new crime. The new crime is considered not only a crime but also a violation of any previous parole that you agreed to observe. You might also find your old parole agreement has been revoked. Now, you have to serve not only the sentence from the current conviction. You also have to serve time that is related to the previous conviction.
When you are convicted of formally violating the law, the judge or jury will look for evidence of prior behavior. If you have never been convicted of violating any law before, this is considered in the sentence and severity of your conviction. However, if you have a prior conviction, the jury or judge may consider this evidence of a pattern of bad behavior. If they find evidence of a pattern of criminal behavior this can impede your ability to defend yourself. It can also lead to a potentially longer sentence the second time around .