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What Is the Difference Between Jail and Prison?

 Posted on February 11,2022 in Criminal Defense

TX defense lawyerYou probably do not want to go to either jail or prison. These punitive facilities are intentionally designed to be unpleasant, to say the least. If you have already been arrested and charged with a crime, then you are probably familiar with jail. Prisons, on the other hand, are exclusively for those who have already been convicted of felonies. Your best bet is to do everything you can to avoid landing in prison, starting with finding an experienced criminal defense attorney.

What Are Jails Used For?

Jail is where arrestees are taken and held until they are able to bond out - if they are able to bond out. Generally, people are taken to local city jails, frequently attached to a police station, right after arrest. City jails are generally designed to hold arrestees for very short periods of time - usually, over the weekend until they can see a judge on Monday at most.

However, those who are unable to bond out may be sent to a county jail, which is larger and better equipped to keep inmates for somewhat longer periods of time. There are instances where people have sat in a county jail for years on end waiting to be tried. Quite a few jail inmates have yet to be convicted of any crime and are supposed to be presumed innocent.

After sentencing, those with very short sentences lasting only a few days are sometimes able to serve their time in a city jail. Otherwise, those sentenced to less than a year for a misdemeanor will typically serve their time in a county jail.

What Is a State Jail Felony?

Texas is quite unique in its creation of state jail felonies. These offenses occupy an odd sort of middle ground between felonies and misdemeanors. They are felonies, but the least serious felonies. A conviction leads to a sentence between 180 days and two years in a state jail.

What Are Prisons Used For?

Everyone in prison has already been convicted of a felony and sentenced to at least a year and a day. Prisons are equipped for long-term stays. Inmates are generally assigned jobs, and there may be educational programs available. Surprisingly, many people who have experienced both jail and prison find that prison is preferable, in part because there are more ways to occupy the time.

It is important to note that there are different security levels. Lower-risk, nonviolent inmates who are not considered escape risks are generally sent to lower-security prisons and given a bit more liberty within the prison. Those considered dangerous or high escape risks are sent to more secure prisons and can expect to spend more time in their cells.

Call an Atascosa County Criminal Defense Lawyer

BRCK Criminal Defense Attorneys will strive to keep you out of both jail and prison. Our Jourdanton criminal defense attorneys fight for dismissals wherever possible, but are skilled at making strong cases for sentencing alternatives that keep you free otherwise. Call 830-769-1010 for a free consultation.




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