Austin Texas Criminal Lawyer Attorney

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The law recognizes that there are certain moments as alcohol or drug use is a factor when committing an offense, and that conviction is not necessarily the best answer in such a situation. Under such a circumstance, you may be eligible to enter the drug diversion programs which allow any client to receive substance abuse treatment instead of a prison sentence.

A well-experienced, skilled, trusted and highly-reliable drug crime defense attorney is able to spell out whether circumstances of your indictment might make you eligible for a drug diversion programs, and how that might work in your case.

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Drug Diversion Programs

Both drug and alcohol addiction lie at the root of many criminal cases. You become addicted to an illegal substance such as meth, heroin, or alcohol, and your ability to make good decisions is impaired since the physical effects of the illegal substance on your brain and cognitive processes. While intoxicated or high, you exercise poor judgment that may get you into a legal scrape. Or an addiction may give rise to acts of desperation, such as stealing because you are going through withdrawal and need another fix.

There are two (2) types of diversion programs available for criminal indictments, but only one is available for drug crimes.

Pre-trial Diversion — These programs allow any person indicted for an offense to avoid a sentence when you meet conditions set by the court. If you meet all conditions, your indictment gets dismissed. Generally speaking, pre-trial diversion is only available for first crimes and for relatively minor non-violent indictments. You cannot go through a pre-trial diversion program if you have been indicted for any type of drug crime.

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Intervention in Lieu of Conviction — It is the second type of diversion program, and is the one that enables you to complete a treatment and three (3) years of community supervision instead of being sentenced. You may be eligible for intervention instead of punishment for many drug indictments, even though some are excluded. You also may be eligible for this program as you commit another crime that has been caused by your drug or alcohol addiction, such as committing a theft so that you can buy illegal substances. .

A skilled and trusted criminal defense attorney can detail the differences between these two diversion programs and how they might be applied to your case.

Eligibility for Intervention instead of Conviction

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Under Rev. Code, when you are indicted for a crime and “drug and alcohol usage… was a factor giving rise to the criminal offense” then a court, under limited circumstances, may drop your indictment once you fulfill conditions imposed by the court. According to a Supreme Court Justice, he described intervention instead of punishment in a column as “an option for first-time wrongdoers to get some help for their addiction with no ramifications of a serious crime conviction.”

However, the program is not available for all drug-related felony indictments or for high-level serious crimes in general. The statute specifically excludes indictments of:

-Corrupting another person with drugs
-Manufacturing controlled substances or cultivating marijuana
-Illegal administration of anabolic steroids
-1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th degree felony indictments of drug trafficking
-1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree felony indictments of drug possession

However, you may be eligible for the program for a number of other drug crimes, including:

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-Marijuana possession
-Misdemeanor or 5th degree felony possession of a controlled substance
-Possessing drug abuse instruments
- Drug paraphernalia use or possession
-Illegal purchase of pseudoephedrine or ephedrine (methamphetamine (meth) precursors)

Since intervention instead of conviction applies to crimes in which drug or alcohol use was a factor, you also may be eligible for a number of other criminal indictments closely related to your drug or alcohol use, such as:

-Passing bad checks
-Misuse of credit cards

Generally speaking, the indictment you are dealing with has to be your first crime in order to qualify for intervention instead of conviction. However, under some circumstances a well-experienced, trusted, skilled and highly-reliable criminal defense attorney may be able to prove a justice to enable you to undergo treatment in lieu of a conviction when you have prior non-violent crimes on your record.

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Under Rev. Code, in order to be eligible for intervention instead of conviction:

-You ca not have been previously indicted for or pleaded guilty to a felony
-Prosecutor must recommend that you are eligible for participation
-You ca not previously have gone through intervention instead of conviction

How Intervention instead of Conviction Works

When you might be candidate for intervention instead of conviction, your criminal defense attorney begins your legal process by filing a motion asking the court to find you eligible for the program. A justice may rebuff the motion or may proceed with a hearing trial to determine your eligibility.

As part of the process, you shall get a drug or alcohol assessment by a skilled professional. He/she will be in charge of determining whether you have a dependency, and the appropriate course of treatment.

You must agree to meet some conditions of the program, and also plead guilty to the indictment. As long as you fulfill all of the conditions your indictment will be dismissed. However, if you fail to meet any of the conditions, then the court can move forward with sentencing you.

If you fulfill all of the conditions and have your case dismissed, your skilled criminal defense attorney can ask the court to seal your record so that your indictment will not be visible to the public on background checks.

How a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help you?

If you have been indicted for a drug crime or an offense that you committed due to a drug addiction, a well-experienced, trusted and skilled drug defense attorney can spell out whether intervention instead of conviction might be a possibility for you. A criminal defense attorney can detail how the process works, and what to expect in court. Your skilled attorney can be your voice in court and present a strong argument why you should be allowed to complete treatment in lieu of landing in prison or suffering other sentences for your crime.

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Interested in learning much more about Drug Diversion Programs? Get in touch with our skilled and trusted Criminal Defense Attorneys.

A drug indictment can throw your whole life out of order, and a prison term could dramatically shape the rest of your life. Whether this is your first experience with the legal system, you are likely wondering what will happen to you. If you have dealt with criminal indictments in the past, you know that the right representation makes all the difference. We are here to help you out, no matter what your experience has been.