Penalties for Drug Crimes in Richmond
Richmond actually has a lot of programs that offered defendants an opportunity to get their charges reduced or dismissed and thereby avoid harsh sentences. Richmond has an active drug court program as well as first offenders programs should an individual qualify and their attorney be able to get an agreement for them to enter such a program.
Drug Intervention And Diversion Programs In Richmond
There are actually a number of different programs that can be used in the case of simple possession charges. There are first offender programs that individuals can take advantage of. If a defendant submits to drug testing and possibly community service they may be able to have their charge dismissed or reduced if they comply. There are also programs that aim at treatment rather than incarceration. Drug Court in Richmond offers an individual the opportunity to avoid jail if they comply with strict treatment and counseling requirements. These programs only apply to nonviolent offenders and those individuals who can maintain sobriety during the course of the program.
How Do Diversion Programs And Drug Courts Work?
Well with regarding the first offenders programs it is just matter of staying clean, passing all drug tests and staying out of trouble. Same applies to the Drug Court program but that is obviously a lot more intense. It involves counseling, requires usually anywhere from weekly to bi-weekly check-ins with the probation officers and counselors where the individuals are routinely tested. It is certainly a longer term program but again the whole goal of that is to have treatment versus incarceration.
How Do Richmond Judges Treat Drug Cases?
Again a lot of that will depend on the drug, the amount, the prior record. In substance abuse cases Judges are often receptive to first offender and drug court programs. I think most of the judges in the City of Richmond have taken the position that the best way to deal with this is treatment first and they usually go with recommendations from prosecuting and defense attorneys toward treatment over jail. However if it is a case of a large amount or a repeat offender then they can be very harsh in the sentence.