Those arrested for drug offenses in Dallas County frequently worry about what criminal charges might mean for their future. Even a possession offense could lead to felony charges, depending on the circumstances. Those who plead guilty or get convicted during a trial may face many challenges in the future. Drug convictions can show up during criminal background searches and lock people out of the best jobs. A criminal record can also impact someone’s ability to attend college or secure certain types of financial aid. These consequences are in addition to the penalties imposed by the courts.
Judges hearing Texas drug cases can sentence individuals to incarceration, probation and fines. Many people feel that pleading guilty is the best response to a pending drug charge in Texas. They may not realize that there is an alternate approach that could shield them from both criminal penalties and a criminal record.
Some people qualify for drug court proceedings
Dallas is one of the counties in Texas that offers adult drug treatment courts for certain defendants. Drug treatment court involves close supervision of an individual’s behavior and numerous restrictions imposed by the courts, such as mandatory treatment and drug testing.
Some defendants facing non-violent charges directly related to a substance abuse disorder may qualify to have their cases heard in the drug courts instead of in the criminal courts. Drug court proceedings do not require that someone defend against their charges. Instead, they must submit to oversight from the courts as they pursue treatment for the substance abuse disorder that contributed to their criminal activity.
If someone successfully completes drug court in Texas, they can avoid criminal penalties. They also don’t have to worry about having a conviction show up every time an employer, landlord or educational institution performs a background check. In cases where the state has strong evidence or when someone recognizes that they may need support, drug court proceedings could be a viable alternative to attempting to defeat criminal charges during a criminal trial. For others, it may be possible to challenge the state’s evidence or provide alternate explanations for circumstances that seem to imply someone’s involvement in a criminal matter.
Learning more about the different options available when responding to drug charges may benefit those who hope to minimize the negative impacts that charges may have on their future.