As a first time drug offender, you may be scared of what your future holds. Having the right attorney who specializes in criminal defense law can make a considerable difference in the outcome of your case.
Your Attorney Matters
If you can hire a private attorney, it is worth the investment. Your attorney wants to earn their money and winning their case will improve their resume. This means it is in their best interest to fight for the least harsh sentence possible. Another benefit of a private attorney is their caseload may be less than a public defender, meaning they can give your case the time it deserves. Criminal defense law is complex and going over your case with a fine-tooth comb is your best chance at a positive outcome.
Consider Treatment Programs
In some jurisdictions, defendants may plead guilty in exchange for entering a drug treatment program and some term of probation after completing the program. Not only do these options lessen the amount of time you would spend incarcerated, but also they might aid you in leading a clean and sober life. Your opportunities may be contingent upon your charges, if you have concurrent charges for violent crimes or intent to distribute drugs, you may not qualify for programs.
Find Alternative Punishment Options
In addition to drug treatment programs, there may be other options if you are facing a minor charge. For example, there may be a boot-camp style program for first-time offenders.
Completion of this program may give you broader options, such as exchanging a first-time felony conviction for a misdemeanor, or having the opportunity to have a minor charge expunged.
Being a first-time drug offender is difficult, but it does not always have to ruin your life. Having a good private attorney and looking for ways to reduce or eliminate first-time charges will give you the best chance at a positive outcome.