One of the biggest concerns for individuals who are facing criminal charges is the potential for jail time. Since Texas, like other states, has really cracked down on drunk driving for example, a person who is charged with DWI for even the first time may fear that he or she will need to serve a jail sentence. Fortunately, there are alternatives to jail time for many criminal convictions, particularly when the criminal offense is relatively minor and non-violent in nature. While this is not the case for all crimes, jail time is not the only potential punishment for many commonly-charged crimes.
Are There Any Alternatives to Incarceration if I Am Convicted of a Crime?
For many criminal convictions, the judge has the option of suspending the sentence and placing the individual on community supervision, or probation, for a certain period of time. This typically is a much better alternative, because it allows the individual to continue working and living with his or her family. However, when a judge places a person on community supervision, he or she must comply with all terms and conditions imposed by the judge for the full period of supervision. These requirements often include the following:
· Payment of court costs, restitution, and monthly probation fees
· Attendance at meetings with a probation officer on at least a monthly basis
· Attendance at required meetings and classes, such as DWI education and/or a victim impact panel
· Submission to periodic alcohol and drug tests
For a DWI offense, probation can last from six months to two years. If the individual fails to meet any of the probation requirements, including meeting with his or her probation officer as ordered, he or she is subject to charges for a probation violation, which can result in additional fines, jail time, and community service.
If you are a non-violent offender and you are charged with a drug-related felony, you may be eligible for the Travis County Drug Diversion Program. This Drug Court program lasts a minimum of one year and involves multi-disciplinary drug treatment and case management intervention. The individuals involved in this program must appear in Drug Court on a frequent basis, which allows the court to monitor their treatment and program performance.
The criminal defense lawyers of Peek & Toland have handled the legal defense of countless individuals who are facing criminal charges, including charges of violating a protective order. We are here to protect your rights and advocate on your behalf in order to get the best outcome possible in your case. Call our office today at (512) 399-2311 to set up an appointment with our criminal defense attorneys today.