Alternative Sentencing in Florida
Alternative sentencing is becoming a more popular option in courts around the country. Essentially alternative sentencing focuses on offering a guilty person the opportunity to have a second chance. That is not to say there is not some form of punishment, but the consequences focus on other options other than jail time. For many people in the legal sphere, this is an innovative approach to transforming the legal process into a more effective rehabilitative program rather than simply a punishment.
Florida, like many states, has their fair share of drug problems. However, many of the issues involve petty charges and first-time offenders. In years past, there has been an influx in petty criminal overpopulating the Florida jails. This leads to a number of issues that can often be greater than the original offense.
For these individuals an alternative is drug court. In drug court, a person may be required to complete probation and/or partake in rehab or other drug counseling options. This type of sentencing is especially useful for younger offenders who still have their whole life ahead of them. Many judges agree that drug court is a good option for people to focus on managing their addiction and avoiding charges in the future.
Electronic monitoring is useful in non-violent crime cases. Essentially, the person must wear a monitoring device that ensures that they stay within boundaries of what the court deems appropriate. Sometimes, this option is available for individuals who behave well in jail and have been nominated by an officer. Generally, the person is allowed to attend school, work, and a certain distance surrounding their home.
This is another option for non-violent offenders. Essentially, the individual must report daily to law enforcement or their probation officer. They usually are also required to complete community service and volunteer with various nonprofits. This is a good median as it requires the person to give back to their community, but is done so under the watchful eye of the courts.
For individuals who are involved with alcohol-related crimes, monitoring may be an option. A person may be asked to install a breathalyzer in their vehicle or wear an ankle monitor to ensure that they are not consuming alcohol.
Why it Works
Alternative sentencing has a number of advantages both for the individual and society as a whole. Some of those advantages include:
- Rehabilitates and reduces likeness of re-offending;
- Keeps the jail population lower; and
- Encourages people to address their issues.
Many people agree that alternative sentencing actually helps people rather than just locks the cell door and throw away the key. Many of the offenses are drug and alcohol-related and alternative sentencing actually encourages people to deal with their addiction.
Want to Know More?
Scott Skier is located in West Palm Beach, Florida. He has worked tirelessly as a legal defense attorney for a number of years. He understands the ins and outs of alternative sentencing and what it can mean for each individual client. He is happy to assist you with understanding your options. He is available today for a free, no obligation consultation.