Alternatives to Incarceration

handcuffs breaking free as lawyers Wadkins & Wallace help you find alternatives to incarceration

Every case is different. Your circumstances are unique to you. This is why there are many different alternatives to incarceration. Depending on your situation, judges have the option to sentence you to other types of punishments- from house arrest to rehabilitation programs. Drug crime offenders in Georgia often require the use of these alternative programs. 

Why is it important to provide alternatives to incarceration?

Alternative sentencing allows for judges to have more options when deciding on a punishment. These sentences may be curated based on the needs of the city and of you/your case. For example, a sentencing of community service benefits both the offender (because they are avoiding/lessening prison time) and the city (because it receives needed services). 

These alternatives have the power to promote public safety and decrease the chances of repeat offenders. They offer a different approach; with programs like Family Drug Court in place, these alternatives are able to get to the root of the problem. Confronting these deep-rooted issues head-on is important, and that is what these programs are trying to do. 

Types of Convictions and Possible Alternatives to Incarceration:

Drug Crimes and Georgia Sentencing

Before we get into the alternatives, it’s important to know what Georgia law requires of drug crime convictions. Sentencing for these crimes may depend on the schedule and amount of the drug. A drug’s “schedule” is the category that Georgia law places it under. This is based on the drug’s addictive properties/potential for abuse and it’s medical use (or lack thereof). 

 

Possession: 

  • Schedule I or II:
    • Sentencing: two to fifteen years in prison for a first offender, five to thirty years in prison for a second offender
  • Schedule III, IV, and V:
    • Sentencing: one to five years in prison for a first offender, one to ten years in prison for a second offender
  • Rophypnol:
    • Sentencing: two to fifteen years for a first offender, five to thirty years for a second offender
  • Marijuana:
    • Less than one ounce
      • Sentencing: up to one year in prison and fines of up to $1,000
    • More than one ounce
      • Sentencing: one to ten years in prison
    • More than ten pounds
      • Sentencing: five to thirty years in prison, fines up to $100,000
    • More than 2,000 pounds
      • Sentencing: seven to thirty years in prison, fines up to $250,000
    • More than 10,000 pounds
      • Sentencing: fifteen to thirty years in prison, fines up to $1,000,000

Possession of Drug Related Objects:

  • Sentencing: up to a year in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000
 
Distribution/Intent to Distribute/Sell/Deliver/Manufacture:
  • Schedule I or II:
    • Sentencing: five to thirty years in prison for a first offender, ten to forty years in prison for a second offender
  • Schedule III, IV, and V:
    • Sentencing: one to ten years in prison
  • Rophypnol:
    • Sentencing: five to thirty years for a first offender, ten to forty years for a second offender


What kinds of alternatives to incarceration are in place for drug-related crimes in Georgia?

A common alternative to incarceration for drug crimes is placement in a drug rehabilitation facility. These facilities curate treatment plans to suit the needs of the court’s order and of the patient. A rehabilitation plan may be a possibility for your drug conviction. Placement with these programs can provide a solution to preventing repeat offenses by getting at the root of the problem and addressing substance abuse issues.

Muscogee County also offers programs to assist substance abuse recovery. Family Drug Court (FDC) is a five-part program for parents that provides treatment and incentives to work toward sobriety. With this program, individuals are able to have visitation with their children as long as they submit to drug scans and other requirements. 

Other alternatives include community service hours, probation, house arrest, and fines.

 

How We Can Help

Here at Wadkins & Wallace, we will listen to you and put together the best defense to get you the best sentence possible. If you have a drug-related charge, contact us by calling at (706) 221-9451 or filling out our online form so that we can get started defending you today.