Terri Daniel, Attorney at Law, PLLCTerri DanielAttorney at Law, PLLC

Alternatives to incarceration: Drug courts in Texas

You really never thought about your child having trouble with drugs, let alone that he'd be selling and distributing them to other people at school or on the streets. He's a teen, but, in your mind, still the innocent child you raised.

Unfortunately, when it comes to the law, the reality is stark. Your child could face serious penalties for violating drug laws, possessing drugs, selling drugs, and using or selling them in school zones. The good news is that there are alternatives to prison being used in Collin County. The Drug Court aims to address issues including drug abuse and DWI cases outside the traditional court system.

The truth about the court system is that it's backlogged. Since that's the case, having a drug court makes sense. Studies have shown that putting alcoholics or those addicted to drugs in jail doesn't stop the problem, so the best thing to do is to look into alternatives. This is particularly true for juveniles, who could be negatively influenced in a traditional prison.

How can a person qualify for alternatives through the drug courts?

To start with, in the Collin County Courts, you need to be a resident of the county. The same is true for other court systems. In addition to this, your child will likely need to go through substance abuse evaluation to determine if the program is the right fit. The offense must also fall under one of the listed categories. For drug crimes, it must be a misdemeanor for drug possession or a first offense.

What are the majors benefit of drug court?

There are a number of benefits to going through a drug court instead of the traditional route. Some major benefits include avoiding time behind bars and a possible lengthy sentence, reduced fines and being allowed to retain an occupational driver's license. Since your teen is a child, you may have a number of additional options if he or she is tried in a juvenile court, but as some teens are tried as adults, it's a good idea to know the potential penalties for your teen in the adult court system.

Any time a child commits a crime, it's in your best interests to do what you can to protect him or her. There is a real possibility that a conviction could color the rest of your child's life.

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Terri Daniel, Attorney at Law, PLLC
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