Alternatives to Jail for Prescription Drug Charges in Texas
Charges such as illegally distributing prescription drugs can potentially lead to years behind bars. However, for some nonviolent drug offenses, alternatives to incarceration may be possible for criminal defense attorneys to negotiate on a client’s behalf. While Texas law does impose mandatory minimum sentencing for certain drug crimes, opportunities exist pre-trial to argue for probation, diversion programs, or rehabilitation instead of jail time. A Texas lawyer can help you find alternatives for your charges.
Assessing Eligibility for Pre-Trial Intervention Programs
If a defendant has no prior felonies and the case details are favorable, their criminal defense lawyer can immediately request pre-trial intervention to divert the charges. Programs like drug court allow first-time offenders to avoid a conviction through supervised probation, frequent testing, outpatient rehab, and meeting other conditions. Graduates of the program can potentially have charges dismissed.
However, these programs are typically only open to those facing lesser possession charges rather than distribution. Criteria also often include being low-risk, cooperating with authorities, and admitting misconduct. A lawyer’s job is to package their client as an ideal candidate through proper investigation and negotiation.
Utilizing Texas Sentencing Guidelines
If a client is convicted at trial, Texas sentencing guidelines still allow some discretion based on the severity of the crime, intent, and offender history. For lower-level offenses like re-selling a few pills, a lawyer can reference guidelines to advocate against incarceration.
A lawyer can also dig deeply into a client’s background to identify mitigating circumstances. Factors like mental health conditions, addiction, financial desperation, or family obligations may sway sentencing. Skilled counsel humanizes the defendant and provides proof that alternative punishments are appropriate.
Benefits of Non-Prison Alternatives
A lawyer argues that options like intensive probation, house arrest, rehabilitation programs, community service, and hefty fines better serve the defendant and the public good. These alternatives avoid inmate dangers, lost opportunities, and the taxpayer burden of jail and allow the accused to contribute to society positively.
Extensive evidence and compelling narratives are needed to convince a judge that options beyond prison exist. Even a significantly reduced sentence is a victory. Protecting a defendant’s future is the priority.
Contact a Plano, TX Criminal Defense Attorney
When you are faced with such a big charge, you deserve to see if you qualify for an alternative charge. A Dallas, TX criminal defense lawyer can help you build a solid case to achieve an alternative. Call The Crowder Law Firm, P.C. at 214-303-9600 for a free consultation.