If you have been arrested or charged with a criminal offense, depending on the nature and severity of the crime, you may be able to request alternative sentencing in certain situations. Alternative sentencing is where the judge would rather attempt to rehabilitate you than send you to jail.
You must complete all requirements of the alternative sentencing to avoid going to jail. In some cases, the actual criminal charge will never appear on your criminal record as long as you have completed every requirement for your alternative sentencing.
When is alternative sentencing an option?
In certain situations, when someone with a co-occurring condition or substance abuse problems gets in trouble with the law, the court may offer an alternative sentencing rehab program in place of jail time. To qualify for this option, it will depend on the nature of the criminal offense, your criminal record, and other such factors.
Will the court offer alternative sentencing?
More often than not, courts and judges do not openly offer participation in an alternative sentencing drug treatment program as an option. Instead, the defendant must request the alternative sentencing through their criminal defense lawyer.
Additionally, a person must be willing and open to complete the treatment program. If the defendant refuses to participate, then their original sentencing will stand.
Does the defendant need a lawyer?
To ensure the likelihood of being given the option of alternative sentencing drug treatment, it is in the person’s best interest to retain a criminal defense lawyer. Lawyers understand the laws and how to persuade the judge to agree to alternative sentencing, which will be much easier than attempting to represent oneself in court.
Why is alternative sentencing offered? What does it really mean?
Alternative sentencing allows a person to avoid going to jail while being able to seek treatment for a substance abuse problem at an addiction treatment center. Completing the treatment program provides the opportunity for rehabilitation and to set a person’s life back on track.
People who develop an addiction to drugs and alcohol are more likely to steal, commit criminal offenses, and take greater risks to break the law to obtain drugs and alcohol. This can create an endless cycle of addiction and incarceration with unsupervised withdrawal.
Many courts and judges are aware that it is the alcohol and drug addiction that led to the crime. By offering alternative sentencing, it provides people with substance abuse problems and criminal charges the opportunity to rebuild their lives.
How can alternative sentencing help someone?
Alternative sentencing rehab programs are often the first real opportunity for the offender to obtain help with their substance abuse program. Many people try to quit on their own or “manage” their addiction with little success that eventually led to their criminal offense.
Going through withdrawal in jail unsupervised can have health risks. Obtaining help from an addiction treatment center through alternative sentencing ensures the individual goes through supervised withdrawal.
Why do states allow alternative sentencing?
Alternative sentencing rehab programs can save the state money because rehab programs cost less than prison costs. Most people who undergo a treatment program through alternative sentencing also do not commit future crimes and become repeat offenders in and out of jail.
Completing an alternative sentencing drug treatment program helps a person develop a healthier lifestyle. They learn how to eat balanced and nutritious meals, as well as develop good exercise habits for a fit body, mind, and spirit.
What happens after someone completes an alternative sentencing program?
Upon completion of an alternative sentencing rehab program, a person’s criminal record will not show a conviction for the criminal offense they committed. This is beneficial as someone reintegrates back into the community and returns to work as they won’t have the stigma of the offense to contend with.
It’s never too late.
Anyone from any background can turn their life around when given the opportunity to participate in alternative sentencing rehab programs. Just look at how Dr. Keith Marshall turned his life around and is now helping others overcome their addictions, too.
Dr. Marshall has worked with many individuals and their attorneys to create an individualized strategy and treatment plan. He has presented these plans in court to the benefit of the individual charged with the criminal offense.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction and is facing criminal charges, please have their lawyer contact us for assistance with alternative sentencing drug treatment program options. If you are struggling with addiction, we can also help you. Please feel free to contact Dedicato Treatment Center at 626-921-0113 to speak with one of our compassionate team experts today!