Someone accused of a drug offense in Texas faces major consequences in the event of a conviction. Texas law treats and assortment of different drug offenses as felonies, even in cases of possession sometimes. A guilty plea or conviction for a felony drug offense can impact everything from someone’s educational plans to their career advancement.
Additionally, judges can hand down sentences that include large fines and possibly years in state facilities. Yet, some people accused of nonviolent drug offenses in Texas may have the option of having their case go through the Texas drug courts instead of the traditional criminal courts. Why would people ask for drug court adjudication when facing criminal charges in Texas as an alternative to traditional prosecution?
The opportunity to receive treatment through the drug courts
The focus of the drug court process is to aid in someone’s addiction recovery. Typically, applicants need to show the courts that they have a substance abuse disorder. They will undergo treatments for their condition that could include extensive outpatient therapy or even inpatient rehabilitation services. They will also need to submit to regular drug screening, which may help motivate people to maintain their sobriety.
The ability to avoid criminal penalties
Completing the drug court process often requires many months, if not well more than a year. People must remain committed to attending all of their meetings and passing their drug screenings during that time. Those who complete the process successfully will not have to serve any jail time or pay the fines typically associated with a drug conviction in Texas.
The absence of a criminal record
The final benefit of successfully completing drug court proceedings is that the person accused of violating drug laws in Texas will not have to cope with the lasting stigma and limitations caused by a serious criminal record. While there may be a record of their arrest available to the public, there will not be a conviction holding them back from opportunities in life.
Nonviolent drug offenders who believe their arrest relates to a substance abuse issue may find that the drug courts are a viable alternative to pleading guilty or trying to fight their charges in criminal court. Ultimately, learning about every option available after an arrest in Texas may benefit those facing drug charges.