Is rehab an alternative to jail time?

| May 28, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

Many people find themselves in legal trouble due to their use of controlled substances. Persons never previously in trouble with the law may find themselves looking at jail time. Louisiana does offer drug and alcohol rehabilitation instead of jail to some offenders. While not everyone may qualify, those who do might appreciate the potential benefits that rehab provides.

Rehab vs. jail time

Several reasons exist why the courts may order rehab rather than send someone to jail. The person could be a nonviolent offender who suffers from an addiction. Sending him or her to jail might not result in anything positive, but a successful journey in rehab might allow for life-altering changes.

Someone arrested for drug possession may no longer need to use drugs once completing rehab. While rehabilitation and staying sober come with challenges, professional substance abuse programs present a possibly effective way for someone to become free of addictions. Jail offers no such environment. Incarceration serves mostly as punishment, and someone may return to drugs and alcohol upon release. If they once again get into drug-related legal troubles, they could return to jail. There are other elements that an attorney can explain.

Legal matters related to drug diversion programs

In Louisiana, the “Intensive Probation Drug Court” remains an option for some nonviolent drug offenders. The 18-month program employs drug counseling and judicial supervision and is only open to those who qualify. Convicted felons, for example, are ineligible, but many others could explore drug court pleas during criminal trials.