The state of Texas is notorious for applying relatively harsh penalties for drug offenses. Even simple possession can lead to jail time and other lasting consequences for the person accused. Drug offenses can easily lead to felony charges. Even if a prosecutor allows you to plead guilty to a lesser offense, future employers and landlords will likely assume you were guilty of the original felony after performing a background check.
One of the biggest issues with pleading guilty to a drug offense in Texas is that the criminal record that results will affect someone for the rest of their life. Even those who avoid jail time related to drug charges may have difficulty securing rental housing, college admission and job opportunities in the future.
For those accused of a nonviolent offense related to the substance abuse issue, there could actually be an alternative to pleading guilty or fighting against charges in criminal court.
The Texas drug courts offer a path back to sobriety
Addiction is a serious issue with a strong correlation with criminal activity. The drug courts offer an alternative option to those who believe that their substance abuse disorder led to their criminal misconduct.
Individuals accused of qualifying offenses and who have mental health or medical records affirming that they have a substance abuse disorder could potentially qualify for adjudication in the Texas adult drug treatment courts as opposed to the criminal courts.
The drug treatment courts assist those accused of criminal infractions with treatment for their substance abuse disorder. Participants may spend time in an inpatient treatment facility. They will have to meet regularly with court specialists and submit to random drug tests. Provided that someone fulfills all of these requirements, they won’t have to go back to court for criminal prosecution.
They will avoid jail and other criminal penalties, including a criminal record that would limit their options in the future. They will then be able to truly pursue a fresh start after making a mistake that previously resulted in their arrest. The drug treatment courts can help those who want to improve their lives take charge of a situation that would otherwise cause lasting, if not permanent, hardship for the person accused.
Looking into your options following an arrest on drug charges in Texas will help those hoping to minimize the consequences of a mistake.