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  • Writer's pictureJudith Gracey

But There's More... Options

If you've been charged of a crime, don't automatically assume the worst: that incarceration is your only choice. Read on to see all of your alternatives in similar situations.

After Conviction

When facing conviction for a crime, it is important to know what option you have besides incarceration. For most, incarceration means losing your job, not being able to take care of the people that depend on you and losing all control over what goes on in your life. However, there are many other suitable alternatives we will highlight to ensure a brighter and more comfortable future.

What Are My Options?

Once viable option besides incarceration is to submit to drug and alcohol testing. Testing is used to prevent recidivism, or repeat-offending. This is mainly used in misdemeanor cases involving substance abuse. For example, an ethyl glucuronide test can detect alcohol up to four days after consumption.

Another recourse is a tether or house arrest. This is typically monitored by an anklet that only allows the defendant to be in a specific restricted area. An alert is sent automatically if the defendant steps out of bounds or removes the tether. Another type of tether allows the defendant to move more freely, but with certain restricted areas.

A third choice is community service. Community service is only an option for people with a non-existent or limited criminal background who are not seen as a threat to public safety. Additionally, it helps the offender avoid being locked up and also benefits the community.

Treatment and counseling are also effective programs that can serve as alternatives to incarceration. There are residential and in-patient counseling programs, as well as outpatient programs. These are typically for defendants with substance abuse or mental health problems and help rehabilitate offenders. In drug related cases, treatment is often used in conjunction with drug testing.

Finally, there is probation-- a way to monitor a defendant’s habits and behaviors without incarceration. A judge will set in place a list of requirements or rules that the defendant must adhere to while on probation, for example, mandatory drug testing. If all of the requirements are followed correctly, the defendant will most likely stay out of jail, but if the defendant violates their probation, more than likely, he or she will be put in jail or prison depending on the offense.

How Can I Make the Right Decision?

Once again, it is essential that you do not assume that incarceration is your only option. Know that you have choices that we here at The Gracey Law Firm can help you to make through a knowledgeable, safe, and beneficial environment.

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