The legal system is supposed to be designed to improve society for all people. This is why district attorneys have discretion over how to pursue each criminal case. Many times, it does not make sense to send somebody to prison for certain non-violent drug charges. One district attorney for a county in Texas seems to believe this and is now looking to allow some people to escape facing charges for marijuana.
The district attorney of this county has recently announced that the department will soon begin allowing first-time offenders who are caught with only small amounts of the drug to avoid criminal charges. The first-time offenders will have the choice to either perform eight hours of community service or to complete a class on drug awareness. The district attorney believes that this policy will help prevent people from constantly going in and out of the criminal justice system.
The pilot program is set to go for six months with two local law enforcement agencies participating in the new program. This program allows first-time offenders the opportunity to understand their mistakes as well as learn about the dangers of drugs and narcotics, according to the local sheriff’s department. However, first-time offenders who fail to comply with the terms of the program may end up behind bars.
On the other hand, not every county in Texas has such a program available for first-time marijuana offenders. This means that one may still end up facing drug charges for marijuana or for any other type of illegal drug for that matter. In this case, defendants will need to carefully prepare to defend themselves in court. There could be a variety of legal defense strategies available, depending upon the specific circumstances.
Source: chron.com, “First offenders could get a pass on pot“, Brian Rogers, Oct. 1, 2014