Court Deferred and Diversion Programs

Diversion and Deferred Court Programs

It is common knowledge that the prisons in our country are severely overcrowded.  Alabama prisons are no exception.  A 2011 report indicated that the “overall occupancy rate of Alabama Prisons is 189.3%.”  That is almost double the designed capacity of all State-owned correctional facilities. Since the statistics show that the majority of those inmates are non-violent drug offenders, the need for alternative sentencing options is a no-brainer.

The need for alternatives to jail time

In addition to the fact that our prisons are significantly overcrowded, the costs for housing all of those inmates is an enormous burden on taxpayers.  So, it makes sense to create and provide reasonable, and less expensive, alternatives for non-violent drug offenders.  Individuals who have been convicted of offenses related to controlled substances, actually have several alternatives that can be made a part of a voluntary plea agreement.

Alternative sentencing options available in Alabama

Your criminal defense attorney can request an alternative sentencing program for you, depending on your charges and other circumstances.  This is true whether you accepted a plea bargain, you plead guilty, or you were convicted after a trial.  There are several alternative sentencing options available in Alabama, including the following:

  • Drug Court
  • Drug Diversion Program
  • Work-Release Program
  • Supervised Probation
  • House Arrest or Electronic Monitoring


Drug Court is the most common alternative

If you are determined to make a change and commit to sobriety, drug court may be the best option for you.  The program requires weekly group meetings held in court before the judge.  However, the meetings are more casual than formal criminal proceedings.  In return for participating in these meetings, you can enjoy less supervision as long as you stay clean.  However, if you fail a drug test, which is administered regularly by the court, you can be sent to jail immediately.  In most cases, the genuinely committed participants can be successful in changing their lives for the better, while avoiding jail time.

If you have questions regarding drug offenses, or any other criminal defense matters, please contact Ketcham Law by calling us at (205) 296-4233.Def

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