After receiving a drug crime charge, it might be natural to assume the worst. You may begin to picture a life in prison, losing touch with loved ones, and all your future hopes crushing before your eyes. But what might offer relief is knowing that there might be alternatives to traditional consequences.
Specifically, drug courts in California cater to nonviolent offenders and those with substance use disorders. According to the California Courts website, the main goal of drug courts is to address deep-rooted issues like addiction and prevent further offenses.
In other words, the desire to start anew rather than feel defeated and hopeless may be possible for you. It’s worth noting that the first step to entering drug court is by admitting you are guilty of the charge you are facing. From there, you’ll likely receive an order to undergo court-supervised treatment. Then, with successful rehabilitation, proven sobriety, educational or job training, decreased charges may be attainable.
In addition to drug courts, California drug offenders may go through other alternatives to incarceration. This often involves doing some time behind bars, then finishing one’s sentence upon release. The remainder of a sentence may include options like home detention, moving to a halfway home, work release, medical release, or community service.
According to the Public Policy Institute of California, these alternatives apply to more than just drug crimes and are a way to reduce overcrowding in state prisons. Courts also employ various sentencing methods to address unanswered questions on the effectiveness of incarceration.
The big picture goal of these alternatives may align with your long-term dreams of a second chance and desire to return to being a productive member of your community. So, if you are facing a drug charge and wish to receive an alternative sentencing measure, then it’s vital to speak to a legal professional to discuss potential options.