Non-violent criminal offenders in Texas have improved their chances of turning their lives around in recent years. This is thanks to legislation like the First Offender Programs.
As a first-time offender, you have the right to pursue a career and live a stable, positive life. Continue reading to learn more about the programs available for drug crimes. Remember, nothing is a guarantee.
The Second Chance Act
First offender programs apply to low-level offenders who commit non-sexual and non-violent crimes. In 2017, the Texas Senate approved House Bill 3016, otherwise known as the second chances bill. The act aims to protect people from further social and professional stigma after receiving their punishment from the court. If you commit a low-level offense, you do not have to disclose your criminal record to potential employers or landlords. However, repeat offenders and violent criminals do not have the same luxury.
First Time Offender Felony Charge Act
Another program available to first-time offenders is the First Time Offender Felony Charge Act. Rather than jail time or severe fines, the court can mandate addiction counseling and rehabilitation. In addition, you might need to perform community service. However, failure to complete the program might cause you to earn the maximum prison sentence for your charge.
Working with the courts to demonstrate your wish to reform and improve your life is essential to reducing your sentence. The court must have reason to believe you will not commit another felony. Talk to your attorney about possible sentencing reductions for your first-time offense. Show your enthusiasm, and you have a much better chance of convincing a judge to help you out.