Alternative Sentencing for DC Drug Offenses

Drug offenses are often prosecuted severely and could have serious consequences for you. However, many people do not realize that there are alternative sentencing options that they could pursue if they have been charged with a drug offense. These options include diversion programs, drug court, and deferred sentencing options. If you want to know more about alternative sentencing for DC drug offenses, speak with a qualified drug lawyer that could work towards a positive outcome for you.

Diversion Programs for First Offenders

In many first offense drug possession cases, a person might be eligible for a diversion agreement that could result in their charges being completely dismissed. This is possible for someone with no prior record who is charged with the possession of a relatively small amount of a controlled substance where it is evident that the possession is for their personal use. Some people in this situation in DC could be eligible for deferred prosecution or deferred sentencing agreements. These agreements are straightforward community service agreements where a person completes community service in exchange for having their charges dismissed.

Drug Court

Another one of the options for alternative sentencing for DC drug offenses is drug court. People who might have a more severe level of addiction and may need a more intensive treatment option could be eligible for drug court. Drug court is a specialty court where a person is subject to randomized drug screening as well as frequent treatment and counseling sessions over a nine-month to a one-year period. It is an intensive program and it is not easy to comply with all the requirements. If a person successfully completes drug court, they may be eligible to have their case completely dismissed.

Deferred Sentencing and Other Options for Felony-Level Charges

People facing felony-level charges in cases such as possession with intent to distribute or straight distribution of controlled substances are less likely to be eligible for deferred prosecution, deferred sentencing, or drug court options. Prosecutors and judges are more likely to see distribution or possession with intent to distribute as a financial crime instead of a crime of addiction. However, that is not always the case. In some situations, people are involved with drug distribution to maintain their own addictions. In those situations, a defense attorney could argue that the case should be eligible for treatment under drug court since the crime is one of addiction.

In some situations, people facing felony-level distribution or intent to distribute charges may be eligible for drug court options that can reduce their charges from a felony level to a misdemeanor level and allow them to conclude their case with a more favorable result. Drug cases that involve weapons such as allegations of possession with intent to distribute controlled substance while armed may not be eligible for diversion agreements because of the presence of a firearm.

Value of Working With a DC Drug Attorney

There are different ways a person could become more familiar with the penalties for drug crimes in DC. The first way is by talking to a defense attorney about the different drug penalties that exist. Different states and jurisdictions have various penalties for every level of a drug crime. When a person wants to get reliable information about the possible penalties for different drug crimes and how they are prosecuted, they should speak to a defense attorney with a background in DC drug offenses.

The person can learn about the legal maximum offenses, the legal maximum penalties, and gain an understanding of how the prosecutors move forward on different types of charges. They can become familiar with alternative sentencing for DC drug offenses that might be available depending on the circumstances. The person could also look at the Metropolitan Police Department website to read the DC criminal laws as written in the DC Code for the types of drug offenses. If an individual has been charged with a drug offense, they should speak with a skilled drug lawyer that could advocate for them.