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Are There Any Alternatives To Jail In A Drug Related Conviction?

There are a number of programs. For example, in Fairfax County, they have a program called “OAR,” the Offender Aid and Reconciliation, and that’s a program that is used to rehabilitate people. There is the ASAP (Alcohol Safety Action Program) program, that one’s particularly used to provide drug counseling and services, OAR many times is used for theft and other offenses like that but you can even pick your own classes. In the northern Virginia area, they have one called “Crossroads,” which is an inpatient rehabilitation program.

If you can get in there, many times judges will let you out of jail so that you can try to get treatment while the case is pending, or you’ll get that and perhaps even trade that instead of some jail because the court knows, judges know that you can’t be cured of things like drug addiction, alcohol addiction if you’re in jail.

All you can do is sober up or clean up, but as soon as you get out, you’re right back where you started simply because you didn’t do anything to address the addiction. The judge doesn’t want you to just be punished, he wants you to get better, and so many times that helps.

Can a Judge Impose a Combination of Sentences?

It’s very common for a judge to combine a number of things so that you get sort of a combo sentence.  You almost always get a monetary fine, and if you get jail, you’re still going to get that monetary fine if you have a drug or alcohol problem. You’re going to get some sort of counseling or treatment associated with it. Some of the more elaborate sentences include inpatient treatment soon as it’s available so the county will do a transfer from jail to a treatment program just so that you can do that program.

They have programs for rehabilitation or classes inside the jail too, but that seems so much like jail. It’s the ones where you’re outside, not in jail, doing programs that you can really see those combination of things like fines, costs, rehabilitation programs, probation, community service, restitution.

They even have programs like work release that are considered jail but they allow a person to continue to work, and if that is allowed, then the jail will take a small fee everyday that the person works to cover the cost of that person being in jail, so they take it from their wages. If you can get programs like that, it’s really a great way to keep your client’s life intact, keep his family intact and allow him to basically earn his way back to being in a normal life.

What Are The Biggest Misconceptions That People Have About Going To Jail?

People believe that if they go to jail, that it’s going to ruin their life. Many people are horrified by jail. In my mind, jail is something which is a tool that you can use to try to satisfy the court’s goals of punishing and rehabilitating, and so that being said, if a person can, by going to jail a little bit, avoid other harmful things, then you’ve used that tool properly.

Other people may see it differently, but that is a strategy that should be considered because honestly, I think many people think it’s much more horrible than it really is. It’s humiliating, no doubt about it, and it’s difficult while you’re in there. They’re not being nice to you but by enduring that kind of punishment, you can dodge other more serious things.

Some people can never do jail, they just can’t do it at all because if they do, they might get deported or they’re absolutely terrified of going, and in those people’s case, it’s not a good option but most people, particularly men, doing a short amount of time in jail in exchange for other things is well worth it. That’s my view, but I don’t impose that on any of my clients.

For more information on Alternate Options in a Drug Conviction, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (703) 691- 4366 today.