Alternative Sentencing For Drug Crimes
A recent poll showed that over 70% of Americans support alternative sentencing methods over incarceration for drug offenders. With recent pushes to reform our country’s criminal justice system, we may see an increase in alternative sentencing options for non-violent drug offenders.
Alternatives to Incarceration
When an individual is sentenced to probation, they are allowed to remain in the community. They are required to follow certain rules and are supervised by a probation officer.
Conditions of probation may be:
- Paying court ordered fines
- Staying away from certain places or people
- Taking drug tests
- Attending counseling
Nonviolent drug offenders may be sentenced to complete community service instead of jail or prison time. This may be given to “repay” society for the effects of their crime.
Here’s a fun fact for you: the first drug court in America started in Florida! Miami-Dade County, to be exact.
Drug courts are an alternative sentencing method that focus on rehabilitation. Many people who commit drug-related offenses suffer from substance abuse disorder. The goal of a drug court is to provide treatment and support to those individuals, rather than incarcerating them. In the grand scheme, this will help decrease criminal activity.
During drug court, individuals may:
- Take random drug tests
- Get clinical treatment
- Work with a case manager to explore education and employment opportunities
- Go to mandatory court appearances to track progress
After successfully completing drug court treatment, the defendant’s charges may be reduced, or even dismissed.
Eligibility for Alternative Sentencing
Whether or not you are eligible for alternative sentencing will be determined by the circumstances of your crime, and your criminal record.
Factors that will be considered include:
- The severity of the crime
- The type of drug involved in the crime
- The amount of the drug involved in the crime
- Your criminal history
- Any prior drug convictions
Fort Lauderdale Drug Crime Defense
Rather than punishing those struggling with substance abuse, alternative sentencing provides support and treatment to those in need. At Hager & Schwartz, P.A., we advocate for our clients to get alternative sentencing whenever possible. If you are facing drug charges, contact us today to speak with our compassionate Florida criminal defense attorneys.