What Are Some Alternative Sentencing And Defenses In Drug Cases?


There Is No Alternative Sentencing In Texas

When you get down to it, there are pretrial intervention programs and in a lot of counties, there is deferred adjudication and then there is regular probation. That’s where the judge finds somebody guilty and suspends that sentence. In other words, if they’re found guilty and sentenced to the local jail for 100 days, the judge will suspend that based on their behavior while on supervision. With probation, they may never have to do that sentence. If it’s a felony offense, they’re sentenced to the penitentiary for a number of years, but they don’t go unless they violate the provision rules and their probationary rules. Those are some of the options.

Being on deferred is an option but once you’re in the system, unless it’s a pretrial intervention, then you are in the system. They don’t have alternatives to going to court in Texas. However, they have alternatives for the punishment. As a condition of probation, you could go to a privately funded rehabilitation facility or go to safety or substance abuse program through the Texas Department of Criminal justice; that’s an alternative.

The substance abuse program is a great program with a high success rate. You go to jail for 6 to 12 months and when you get out you move to a halfway house. This is in place so that you can transition back into the community with the proper tools necessary to resist the urge or the addiction for controlled substance and that’s a 3 to 6 month program. After that you’re ready to go, but those are really the only alternatives they have in Texas.

Common Defense Strategies Used In Drug Related Cases

When you’re looking at defense strategies, you’re really trying to look at what happened. The most common thing is to find out who really had possession of the drug; was it somebody who was simply in the vehicle? These defenses come with a lot of ground work. The attorney just wants to make sure that their client wasn’t the one in possession; their client’s not the one who they’re looking for. They also look at the search warrant to find out if it’s truly something that was legally signed.

Everything is fact based, or based on the individual and what’s going to be done with this one case. To make a strong defense, the attorney wants to know as much about the scene as possible and you want to know as much about the client as possible.

If it was possession of a controlled substance, one defense strategy would be to get them into a rehab program. The attorney will take immediate action to see what can be done and then meet with the prosecutors about that action and say, “Listen, this person can be in a first time offender’s program. This person could be a great candidate for a pretrial program. This person maybe doesn’t need to even be charged with the offense because there is nothing to gain by this person being in the system.” There are a lot of things to do prior to going to court.

Have Charges Reduced Or Even Dropped In Drug Cases

When you’re looking at getting a case dropped, the attorney would want to get in with the facts that their client is not guilty, or it’s going to be an extremely difficult case for them to prove. They will prepare their motions for discovery and motions to suppress evidence quickly. Then they will have the exact opposite side of the coin; simply just taking a coin and flipping it over, looking at the opposite side of it and saying, “My client is guilty. My client is guilty because of these reasons.”

Attorney Bobby Barina was involved in a case many years ago where a woman had been involved in a Driving While Intoxicated case. Their investigation showed relatively quickly that she had never been in trouble before and this was the anniversary of her husband’s death. She was out with friends who were consoling her, and depression set in. They dealt with the depression as best as they could by getting her back in the counseling. Most prosecutors understood that. They may say, “We know it’s never going to happen again. She’s taken immediate action.”

In such cases, you do your discovery, you meet with people and then you design the plan of action based on your knowledge of the local community including judges and prosecutors. In most cases, an experienced attorney can get the charges reduced or dropped. That’s the first thing they look at and they may take a different approach to how that happens based on who the individual is.

To know more about Alternative Sentencing And Defenses In Drug Cases, call the law office of Bobby Dale Barina for a FREE Initial Consultation at (254) 699-3755 and get the information and legal answers you’re seeking.

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