If you were charged with a crime and there is no way that your case can
be dismissed entirely, you may qualify for alternative sentences that
doesn’t involve serving time in jail. Alternative sentencing programs
operate to help communities and offer defendants who make a serious commitment
to bettering themselves the chance to do so.
The following are those who are eligible for alternative sentencing:
Defendants who have not committed “worst” crimes, such as
violent crimes or
- Defendants who have not committed a serious felony, with or without the
use of a weapon
- Defendants who have not committed multiple crimes
- No mandatory prison sentence for the offense
- Defendants who do not pose a risk to themselves or the community
Types of Alternative Programs
There are many options for those who qualify for alternative programs.
The most common type is
probation, which is the suspension of a prison sentence. However, the person under
probation is subject to several conditions, meaning that breaking one
of these conditions results in jail time.
Fines and restitution is an option to jail, typically seen for those convicted of financial
crimes. Fines are paid to the government, while restitution is paid to
victims for their damages.
Community sentencing or control refers to the placement of an offender in some type of controlled custody
within a community. However, conditions are stricter compared to probation.
Programs are designed for the needs of each offender, such as frequent
drug treatment, mental health treatment, as well as education and vocational training.
Electronic monitoring, such as ankle bracelet transmitters, with home confinement (also known
as house arrest) is another alternative. In regards to
DWI offenses, car ignition interlock devices are used. Conditions for house
arrest include strict curfews, constant check-ins, daily contact with
a probation officer, as well as frequent and random drug testing.
For more information or to discuss legal options related to your,
contact The Law Office of Jason Luong, PLLC and request a
free consultation with our Houston criminal defense attorney today.