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Clarissa Fernandez Pratt
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Alternative drug sentencing options in Texas

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

The state of Texas provides alternatives to incarceration for some non-violent drug-related crimes. The belief is that some people benefit from addiction treatment more than prison.

Drug offenders may be eligible for alternative sentences depending on the type and severity of their charge and if they have any prior drug-related convictions.

Drug court

Drug courts exist to keep nonviolent offenders out of prison. After an arrest for a drug violation, the offender undergoes an evaluation. People who meet specific requirements may be eligible to participate in drug court. The court closely monitors participants of this diversion program. Vital aspects of this option include:

  • required attendance for 12 to 24 months
  • random drug testing
  • counseling and treatment sessions multiple times per week
  • weekly appointments with a court officer
  • community service

After successful completion, offenders could receive a reduced charge or a dismissal of their case.

Treatment Alternative to Incarceration Program

Another option for offenders who deal with drug addiction is the statewide TAIP or Treatment Alternative to Incarceration Program. Qualifying candidates undergo an evaluation, and a counselor determines the extent and length of treatment needed, not the courts. Counseling sessions may be inpatient or outpatient, depending on the offender’s need.

Online Drug Education

A judge may assign an online drug education course to offenders charged with a minor drug possession crime. People can take this approved class from home within a specified amount of time. Once the attendee completes the course, they file the certificate of completion with the appropriate court authority.

Treatment for drug addiction has proven to be more successful than jail for some addicts. These programs pave the way for a better future for many offenders.