Many alternative programs are available for offenders. On the spectrum of good outcomes to bad outcomes, on the good end you have the dismissal, and on the bad end you will do jail time. In between going from good too bad you have a deferred sentence and then a suspended sentence. A deferred sentence is where somebody pleads guilty, but they are not convicted. They don’t receive an automatic conviction on their record, but what they do receive is a probationary period with terms of probation. The defendant will have to comply with these terms for that probationary period. When the probationary period ends, the case will be dismissed if they complied with the other terms and stayed out of trouble.
Moving down the spectrum towards a not good outcome, the suspended sentence is next. This is where the defendant pleads guilty, receives an immediate conviction on their record, and they are sentenced to a certain amount of time in jail. However, that some or all of that time is suspended for a period of time, or a probationary period of time with conditions. If the defendant complies with those probationary terms for that probationary period, then they end up not going to jail. They still have a conviction on their record, but they do not go to jail.
There are also a variety of other programs that defendants have the opportunity to participate in. It depends on the county and how big the county is for the existing programs. For instance, Oklahoma County has a drug, DUI, and mental health court. They also have a female diversion program, a ReMerge, and a veteran’s diversion program. ReMerge is a diversion program designed for female defendants who have minor children or are pregnant There is also community sentencing, which is supposed to be an alternative to incarceration for offenders convicted of a felony with a prior conviction of a felony. This includes some crimes of violence.
The vast majority of these diversion programs only allow people who are not violent. If you have a conviction or even an arrest for some sort of violent crime, domestic violence, assault and battery, then the chances of you getting into these programs becomes decreased but not completely eliminated. There is still the possibility you can get into one of these programs, but it is going to be very difficult. There are certain other requirements. For instance, drug court, they want people who are drug abusers—not drug dealers.
For more information on Alternative Programs Available For First Time Offenders, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (405) 633-3420 today.