If you’ve been accused of a drug crime, one thing you may be interested in learning more about is how you can seek alternative penalties instead of prison time or harsh fines. Sometimes, there are possible alternatives, such as going through drug treatment, which can help you walk away without a conviction or with reduced penalties.
Within July 2020, Ohio finally began to look into overhauling nonviolent drug possession charges in the state. Senate Bill 3 passed the Senate. It is a bill that could help reclassify nonviolent drug possession crimes down from a felony to a misdemeanor. Additionally, some defendants would be able to pursue a treatment program for addiction rather than ending up in jail or prison.
Will the bill pass?
It’s likely, according to the news surrounding it. It has bipartisan support because getting someone treatment may help them get the second chance they need and help them become a person who can give back to the community. A felony conviction, like is currently possible, could hinder a person’s ability to seek treatment and find employment,
Of course, there are people who oppose this change. They believe that without the threat of prison, few people will seek treatment for their drug addictions.
The rules haven’t been changed yet, but if they are in the future, then that change could affect your case. If you’re accused of possessing drugs, remember that you can defend yourself. Your attorney will look into alternatives for you and work to have the charges against you dropped when possible. Addictions are a real struggle for those who have them, but there is a potential to recover with the right support.