For numerous convictions in Texas, particularly serious ones, the potential punishment is a lengthy jail term. Criminal cases are rarely straightforward and there are often mitigating circumstances. In some scenarios, the wrong person can even be charged and convicted.
There are, however, some alternatives to jail terms that are worth exploring. These generally come about through something known as a pre-trial intervention. Outlined below are a few things to consider:
Deferred Prosecution Programs (DPP)
Many vulnerable individuals find themselves charged with criminal offenses and the state realizes this. For this reason, there are Deferred Prosecution Programs in place. These may be relevant to people who have struggled with addiction, young individuals and petty offenders.
Probation instead of incarceration
It is at the discretion of the judge in the relevant case to pass a sentence. They can impose jail terms, lesser sentences or the maximum possible sentence. In some cases, they deem probation to be a better alternative to incarceration. This means that the person convicted will not face jail time, but rather, they will be able to live in the community under certain conditions. Usually, they will have to meet up with their probation officer on a regular basis. They will also be forbidden from associating with known criminals and one of their parole conditions may be to try and find gainful employment.
These are just some of the possible alternatives to jail terms, there are others, such as community service and house arrest. If you are facing criminal charges, you need to find the route that works best for you. Seeking legal guidance will help with this.