Many times, when people are arrested on drug charges, they are simply given a jail term and a fine. The idea is that these will both act as a punishment for the offense that has been committed and a deterrent against returning to that behavior in the future.
However, many people who serve time in jail for a drug charge get out and quickly return to the same activities that got them arrested in the first place. It’s clear that jail time and fines do not act as a deterrent. This means that they’re not actually solving the real problem and reducing drug crime in Texas. Fortunately, there is a better option.
Drug courts focus on treatment
For nonviolent drug offenders, one potential option might be to use the drug court program. This is different from criminal court, and will not result in a jail term.
Instead, someone who goes through the drug court will be placed in a treatment program. As the law states, the goal is to provide them with “access to a continuum of alcohol, drug, and other related treatment and rehabilitative services.”
Once they have completed this treatment program, which includes mandatory drug tests, then they can have their charges dropped. They do not have to pay fines or spend time in jail. This keeps them from having a permanent record.
Why does this work?
This works for two reasons. First and foremost, many people return to drug use after getting out of jail because they are still addicted and that medical condition has never been treated. Since the drug court program actually treats the addiction, it is more likely that the person will not begin using again.
Secondly, because that individual does not have a permanent record, it is easier for them to get a job and re-integrate themselves into society. Many drug crimes are essentially financial in nature, and this can help to prevent them.
No matter why you have been arrested, you can see how there are different options and how they may help. Be sure you know what legal steps to take to utilize them.