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Alternative Sentencing: What are Your Options?

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JudgeAccusation and subsequent conviction of a crime leaves a permanent mark on your record. This may affect your employment prospects and also has a stigma in your community.

Imprisonment has lasting psychological effects that may haunt you for life. When facing criminal charges and proven guilty, you have options other than incarceration.

Impact Incarceration

The other name for this alternate sentencing is “Boot Camp”. It is a program that enables qualified people to reduce their sentence and avoid jail time. Individuals who get into boot camp do not qualify for probation.

A person in impact incarceration is eligible to leave the Department of Corrections within six months. An individual has their sentence stayed as long as they do not violate compulsory supervised release or parole.

You must meet the requirements to enter the boot camp program, which are:

  1. Under 35 years old
  2. Mental and physical fitness
  3. An offense eligible for boot camp alternative
  4. No sentence of more than 8 years

For this option, you get a recommendation first, but this does not automatically mean acceptance. The decision solely lies with the Department of Corrections. In Jacksonville, a criminal defense attorney helps you get an endorsement for impact incarceration.

Drug Probation

This alternative is available to first time offenders of drug crimes. Depending on which state you are from, you can get into this program for possession of marijuana, methamphetamine and a controlled substance.

The first offender probation lasts 24 months; while in the program, you must participate in three drug tests, 30 hours of community service and not own a firearm. You must also pay the costs and compulsory fines for the case.

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A person in the probation program will not have a conviction; after completion, an offender gets a dismissal of their case; in addition, expungement is possible after a few years.

These are only two of the alternate sentencing options you have when faced with a criminal offense. You must also meet the qualifications to get into any program that does not involve incarceration. Your attorney will help you identify the best option for you.