Being charged with a criminal offense can be a frightening experience. This is especially the case if you’re expecting to receive a harsh punishment, such as jail time. Fortunately, there may be alternative sentencing options available that provide you with a lesser punishment.
In Tennessee, probation is a popular alternative sentencing option to incarceration. Probation allows you to remain in the community under the supervision of a probation officer rather than getting incarcerated. Nonetheless, there are several conditions that you must meet while on probation, such as meeting with your probation officer, maintaining employment and not committing any new crimes. If you violate one of the terms of your probation, you could go to jail.
Community service involves performing work in the community that’s approved by a judge. This can include picking up trash along the side of the road, working in a soup kitchen or helping at a homeless shelter. Community service provides charged individuals with an opportunity to give back to their community and can often be seen as a more productive sentence than incarceration.
Home confinement is similar to probation in that you remain in the community, but you’re confined to your home. This option is typically sought by criminal defense teams for people who are considered a low risk to the community or those who have a family member willing to monitor them while they are on home confinement. Like probation, violating the terms of home confinement can result in getting sent to jail.
Drug treatment court
Drug treatment courts are special courts that deal with charged individuals who have a drug addiction. The goal of these courts is to provide the defendant with treatment for their addiction while also holding them accountable for their criminal behavior. Drug treatment courts can be an effective alternative to incarceration for people struggling with substance use.
If you’ve been charged with an offense, you don’t have to automatically assume that you’ll be going to jail. It’s important to understand the various alternative sentencing options, including the pros and cons of each option and what might be best for your particular case.