The two main sentences used in the United States are fines that need to be paid or time that has to be spent behind bars. When someone gets arrested, this is likely the potential outcome that they’re facing. Both of these are seen as a deterrent, in the sense that they should deter people from committing crimes because they don’t want to go to jail or pay fines again.
Of course, people do commit crimes again with a great amount of frequency. Re-offenders get picked up shortly after being released, in some cases, and the public wonders why this happened. Why didn’t the deterrents work? Why didn’t the criminal justice system work?
But the problem might be that these solutions weren’t the right solution to begin with.
Issues with drug charges
For example, perhaps someone got arrested because they were using illegal drugs. They knew that this was illegal, and someone who has never used these substances before may believe that the threat of jail time would certainly be enough of a deterrent.
But that person may actually be addicted to these illegal substances. Perhaps they don’t even want to be using them anymore, but they just can’t break the habit on their own. This is virtually impossible for most drug users.
In a case like that, sending the person to jail or making them pay a fine isn’t going to change anything. The addiction still remains. That person could then get back out of jail and re-offend simply because the problem that they had was never treated.
How does it get treated? There are drug court programs that will use rehabilitation to allow people to avoid jail time. These individuals get the medical assistance that they need for a first-time offense, they break the habit, and they hopefully do not offend again – which was the original goal the whole time. In fact, the drug court program that is now used all over the country started right here in Florida. It was so effective that other states began adopting it.
What options do you have?
You can see that there are numerous options if you’re facing drug charges. They can have a big impact on your future, so be sure you know what choices you have.