A felony charge can seriously affect a person’s day-to-day life, especially if it’s for a drug crime. Texas takes drug crimes seriously and until recently, some drug offenders could receive a mandatory prison sentence. Our drug crimes attorneys at Cofer & Connelly, PLLC share what you should know about discretionary punishment and diversion for first-time offenders charged with possession of a controlled substance less than one gram.
“First-Time Felony Charge Act”
In 1993, Texas began overhauling state drug law through the “First-Time Felony Charge Act[RC1] [HD2].” For first-time offenders charged with possession of a controlled substance, less than one gram, such as heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamine, courts now have the option for discretionary punishment or diversion. Instead of a jail sentence, prison, or probation, offenders can be placed on pretrial diversion resulting in no conviction.
This alternative to jail sentencing and other punishment can greatly benefit first-time offenders, as typical punishments often will steal years of their lives. With just 21.4% of individuals reoffending in the first year following their release from prison, the “First-Time Felony Charge Act” can help lower offense recurrence across the state by offering alternatives to first time offenders instead of prison.
Considering that the “First-Time Felony Charge Act” only regulates first offenses, repeat offenders with prior convictions are not eligible for their jail sentence probated on subsequent charges. Our team at Cofer & Connelly, PLLC will fight for sentence reductions and the dismissal of charges for clients with prior convictions.
Getting a Second Chance
Alternative sentencing does more than just keep the convicted person out of jail — it gives them a second chance at living a normal life. At Cofer & Connelly, PLLC, we fight to give our clients a second chance following felony arrests through legal attacks and mitigation efforts as we seek dismissal of their charges. With 90% of our felony drug crimes cases dismissed in 2021 and the other 10% sentenced to probation, our priority is finding the best possible outcome for our clients.
We Can Do More
With our criminal defense team at Cofer & Connelly, PLLC, we can do more. In 2021, our team of attorneys had a dismissal or reduction rate of 94% for felony charges, and 100% of our felony drug charges clients avoided jail. We are prepared to do what it takes to fight for your rights and the dismissal of your case.
If you are being charged with a first-time offense of possession of a criminal substance under one gram, we want to help. Call us at (512) 991-0576 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with our experienced drug crimes attorneys.