Li Law Group
Li Law Group is a law firm in Omaha, Nebraska. Our attorneys have successfully defended clients with criminal charges. We are here to hear our clients and understand their goals. We develop and prepare our cases to achieve our clients' needs and wants. Through trust, talent, efforts, and teamwork, we zealously represent our clients. If you need a criminal defense lawyer, call us at 402.391.2486. Our office is located at 8424 West Center Road Ste 108, Omaha, Nebraska.
An inmate can be released from prison before serving their full sentence if certain requirements are met, such as good behavior.
A hearing in felony cases where the prosecution must show that they have sufficient evidence that a crime was committed by the defendant. This is a constitutional safeguard to ensure that defendants are not held baselessly, but it does not require the prosecution to actually “prove” the charges as they do if the case goes to trial. If the judge is satisfied that the prosecution has enough evidence to proceed, the case continues and further hearings are scheduled.
Pre-Sentence Investigation (“PSI”)
A written report prepared by the probation department which helps inform the judge on how the defendant should be sentenced. Depending on the offense and the defendant, these reports can be quite comprehensive, including information on the defendant’s work and school history, family, drug use, criminal record, and statements from individuals who know the defendant, or individuals affected by the crime.
Right to Speedy Trial
Individuals accused of crime have a constitutional right to have their charges disposed of within 6 months of the time they are charged. Although there are reasons that a defendant may want to allow their case to progress more slowly, the right to a speedy trial ensures that defendants do not have to wait indefinitely before having their day in court.
After a defendant is found guilty, the court must decide what punishment to hand to the defendant. Sentencing may occur at a separate hearing specifically for this purpose, or may be done immediately after a guilty verdict is entered, depending on the circumstances of the case.
Release from Custody & Alternatives to Prosecution
The State of Nebraska and its individual counties have made available several alternatives to the traditional model of prosecution and incarceration. These help those who are accused of a crime to undergo minimal disruption during the process, and allows the states to divert a number of cases away from the typical court and jail system which is typically crowded and expensive.
House arrest is a common way for lower-risk offenders to serve their sentence, or a portion of it, outside of the confines of the actual jail. This helps avoid overcrowding the jails and allows defendants to carry on with certain aspects of their life, such as work and school, when approved to do so. Each county has its own criteria for when a defendant is eligible for house arrest, but the requirements commonly include: a) having a stable residence within a certain distance; b) having a phone through which you can reliably be reached while under house arrest; c) not be convicted of a crime falling within certain classes of offenses that are ineligible for house arrest, such as violent crimes. See Neb. Rev. Stat. 47-401 for more information.
You are responsible for paying all of the costs associated with house arrest. If this enables employment to continue relatively uninterrupted, the cost should be more than worth the benefit. Time might also be spent attending counseling, classes, community service, or some other productive activity that helps demonstrate rehabilitation to the court, and may even allow you to get a jump-start on fulfilling court requirements that were set out at sentencing.
Diversion programs offer an alternative to the traditional court system where a person accused of a crime may choose to complete a number of requirements designed for rehabilitation in exchange for dismissal of their pending charges. Many first-time offenders can avoid the consequences of a conviction if they successfully complete the program requirements. Depending on the specifics of a case, the original charges may even be later sealed to prevent them being a part of the public record.
Typically only less serious charges are eligible for diversion, though each charge and circumstance may be evaluated on its own. It is also typically required that a diversion participant not have any previous criminal history, including other charges dealt with through diversion. Some exceptions may exist for juvenile charges, juvenile diversion, or charges prosecuted in other jurisdictions. It is also mandatory that a participant not have any new charges filed against them while completing diversion, or else they will almost certainly be dismissed from the program and the charges prosecuted in regular court.
In order to determine whether you qualify for enrollment in a diversion program, you should check with the program administrator and inquire about applying. In most cases, however, the prosecuting office will perform a screening check to determine eligibility and, if you are eligible, will cause you to be notified by mail some time prior to your court appearance.
Diversion programs are typically offered through the city or county and so specific eligibility requirements and other details of the programs differ between jurisdictions. Unfortunately, many jurisdictions also do not offer any type of diversion program, meaning that identical charges may have very different final results based on the county it was filed in and the programs available there.
Once a defendant successfully completes all of their diversion program requirements, the program notifies the court and the charges should then be dismissed. If the program requirements are not completed within the required time (usually six to twelve months), then diversion is failed and the charges are prosecuted in court. Programs similar to diversion exist, again depending on the jurisdiction. Juvenile Diversion, Drug Court, and Young Adult Court are a few examples.