Sentencing for a First Time Drug Conviction

If you were charged with a drug offense, you are probably concerned about the possible repercussions if you are convicted of that crime. Call us today to find out how we might be able to help you.The court takes drug charges seriously, regardless of whether the defendant is a “hardened criminal” or a first-time offender. If you are convicted of the crime with which you are charged, you can expect to receive some degree of punishment, though you may be better off than someone with a long record of convictions. However, your outcome may in large depend on the quality of your legal representation. We will make every effort to secure the best possible outcome on your behalf.

First-Time Drug Offender Diversion Program

Talk to your criminal defense lawyer about the possibility of entering into a program such as this. Many jurisdictions have diversion programs for first-time drug offenders. Their goal in having such programs is to help first-time offenders avoid a establishing a permanent record.

There may not be such a program available in your area. There are a limited number of programs as well as availability and getting in is not necessarily easy. You may need a recommendation from a prosecutor, sitting judge, or someone else of authority who can speak on your behalf. It’s possible that a criminal defense lawyer from our firm may be able to help you get into such a program.

Conditional Discharge

The court may place a first-time drug offender who was convicted of illegal drug charges on probation. Very often the probation period is a year. If the first-time offender completes the probation without getting into further criminal trouble, then their criminal drug-related conviction will be permanently erased from their record. This expungement process for first-time offenders is known as a conditional discharge.

A conditional discharge can only be used once in a person’s life. In addition, the offender can only use the conditional discharge arrangement when the drug charge is likely to end in a conviction if it were to proceed to court. If your criminal defense lawyer believes that you are not likely to receive a conviction, or that your charges will be dismissed, you may be better off not taking the conditional discharge.

Pre-Drug Trial Intervention Programs

This type of intervention program is intended to rehabilitate the drug offender. This approach is an alternative to going to court and risking a criminal conviction. You will need to meet the program’s eligibility requirements in order to be admitted. Each program can vary as to what they require, but typically you must meet the following:

  •         You were charged with an indictable offense.
  •         This must be your first drug offense.
  •         You must not have been in an intervention program in the past.
  •         You have never received a conditional discharge.

In the event that you have any more questions, do not hesitate to contact experienced lawyer, like a drug possession lawyers Bloomington, IL trusts,  to assist you.

Thank you to Pioletti & Pioletti for providing key insight on drug convictions.