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Alternative sentencing may avoid imprisonment

| Jan 14, 2021 | Criminal Defense

Penalties for a drug offense generally include incarceration, a fine and community service. Under certain conditions, however, nonviolent drug offenders may avoid incarceration through an alternative sentence.

Instead of spending time in jail, a judge may order a defendant to supervised probation. The terms of an alternative sentence may also include receiving treatment for alcohol abuse or a chemical dependency.

A violation of alternative terms may incur jail time

Before granting an alternative sentence, a judge may order specific terms and conditions. Defendants must typically agree to a condition that states what will occur if they violate the terms of their alternative sentence.

In most cases, the punishment of incarceration comes into effect if the defendant deviates from the judge’s terms. Accordingly. the Minnesota Office of the Revisor of Statutes notes that a violation of the conditions may revoke the alternative sentence, and officials may take the defendant into custody.

Minnesota resident receives long-term probation sentence

A highway patrol officer pulled over a 36-year-old Minnesota resident for speeding. Because the motorist’s hands twitched and he displayed constricted pupils, the officer administered field sobriety tests, which the driver failed.

After searching the vehicle, the officer discovered several types of drug paraphernalia including unidentified pills, plastic baggies and a scale. The defendant pleaded guilty to driving while impaired and drug possession. The judge ordered the defendant to serve 10 years of supervised probation and a $500 fine, as reported by KIMT 3.

In cases where a prosecutor has substantial evidence to convict, a defendant may plead guilty and request an alternative sentence. It may help in avoiding or lessening a sentence of incarceration by proving he or she has a chemical dependency.

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