To learn more about the alternatives to incarceration in Texas, continue reading and reach out to our skilled Houston criminal defense attorneys. We are on your side no matter what.
1. Pay Restitution to the Victim
Individuals that commit offenses that involve theft or property damage can pay restitution to their victims. The goal is to make the person feel whole again after the infraction. The defendants will also be instructed to pay all court costs. Restitution can also be granted to the victim of a crime in cases where the defendant has also received jail time. Where innovative sentencing comes into play is once the restitution is paid in accordance with the court order, the jail time can be disregarded.
2. Treatment Programs
Unfortunately, drug addicts often engage in crimes that support their drug habit. These crimes include petty theft, prostitution, trespassing, and drug buys. Because addicts are victims of their own addiction it serves no one to have them incarcerated. Similarly, people with mental health or neurological issues, such as Traumatic Brain Injury or PTSD, will benefit more from treatment than incarceration.
3. Serve Your Sentence on House Arrest
If prisons or jails in Texas are overcrowded, house arrest becomes a viable alternative to incarceration. This form of innovative sentencing saves the government substantially when you think of the cost savings between monitoring someone at home vs. housing them in a prison. With house arrest, the person has to wear an ankle monitor that follows their movement and location. House arrest doesn’t always mean the person sits in their home the entire length of the sentence. They can go to work, counseling, and get permission for other important activities. In the event that the ankle monitor is removed, it sends a signal, and law enforcement is notified directly. The same can happen if the person misses their curfew. The consequences for not sticking to the conditions of house arrest can range from fines, an extended sentence, or jail time. A person on house arrest awaiting trial can also have their bond revoked or forfeited for infractions.
5. Perform Community Service
Community service is a sentence offered for a lot of misdemeanor crimes but may be part of a felony sentence in Texas. It not only benefits the defendant but also the community. Most often performed with a non-profit organization, it can also include working with law enforcement or the city.
The service performed can range from feeding the homeless to picking up trash off city streets and highways. Sentences include a set amount of hours that the person must volunteer. They will also have a set amount of time to perform the service. Keep in mind that completion of community service can also lead to charges being dropped or expunged from your record.
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If you have sustained a serious injury or are facing criminal charges, contact the Gonzalez Law Group today to learn more about how we can help you through every step of the legal process ahead.