Can a Judge Sentence Someone to a Drug Treatment Program?

January 20, 2020

Most people don’t want to go to jail—but if they’re addicted to drugs or alcohol, there’s a major chance that once they’re released from jail, they’ll commit a related offense and end up right back where they started. There’s a 75 percent recidivism rate in America, and less than 10 percent of inmates receive treatment for their addiction. That’s a recipe for disaster.

If you have a serious substance abuse issue, it’s worth talking to an experienced criminal defense attorney to see if you can get drug treatment program sentencing in Tavares, FL.

The benefits of rehab

The problem with sending substance abusers to jail is that it’s not a perfect system—many people are able to access controlled substances even in jail. On top of that, many prisons and jails lack the resources to help addicts overcome their challenges. It’s estimated that if we could send 40 percent of controlled substance offenders to rehab instead of jail, the United States would save almost $13 billion per year. It also significantly reduces the chances of a previous offender being re-arrested or convicted on related charges after their release.

That’s because rehab empowers people with the tools they need to stop using drugs. It’s still a controlled environment, but it’s more focused on healing instead of punishment.

How can my attorney help?

Your attorney can pursue two different ways of getting you sentenced to rehab instead of jail: either court-ordered rehab, or attending drug court.

Multiple offenders, particularly those with DUIs and other substance abuse-related crimes, will usually be given the option of jail time and/or rehab. If you’re interested in rehab, your attorney can advocate for you being placed in a court program. Of course, this is usually only available to people who have committed non-violent offenses that didn’t result in serious harm to others.

Drug court is a similar option, but getting there is a different process from regular trial proceedings. Instead of pre-trial motions, discovery and trial, you plead guilty, waive your due process rights and are tested for drug or alcohol abuse. You consent to mandatory treatment and monitoring—but in exchange, you don’t have to go to jail or prison, you’ll get real treatment to address the root of your issues, and the recidivism rate is as low as 16 percent.

Before you choose either option, be sure to consult with an attorney. Choosing either can have an impact on other areas of your life, such as employment.

Drug treatment program sentencing in Tavares, FL

The attorneys at K.J. Law P.A. understand that substance abuse is a serious problem in Florida, and we want to help enact change where it counts: with you. If you’re sentenced to a drug treatment program, you’re much more likely to come out of the experience equipped with the tools you need for continued recovery. Call us today to discuss your options. We’re experienced in criminal law and sentencing, and can help advocate for your needs in and out of court.

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