Courts have several options available when it comes to sentencing offenders in the criminal justice system. Perhaps one of the most common is probation or the suspension of a jail sentence that lets convicted individuals have the opportunity to remain within the community instead of being locked in a prison.
People who are handed probation sentences have certain court-ordered rules and conditions to comply with. For those with drug offender probation sentences, the list of rules is even longer.
What to do while you are on drug offender probation
Since you have been given a chance to have relative freedom instead of being jailed in a cell, you are expected to use your time in a productive and rehabilitative manner. The overall goal of a probation sentence is to provide reparation to the victims, help offenders avoid recidivism, and give these people the chance to be fully reformed.
If you have been recently handed drug offender probation, here are 4 things that you must do to utilize your time wisely:
- Find an employment opportunity.
If you’re an individual under drug probation, you are required to hold a job or at least show that you are looking for a job actively. Of course, this process is not as easy as it seems. Most employers would prefer an employee without a criminal background, and being under probation certainly puts you in a negative light.
If you are having difficulty with securing a job because of your status, it would be wise to contact your probation officer and seek help. Your probation officer can also lead you to employers who are willing to hire employees with a criminal record.
- Look for a new hobby.
Getting over substance abuse is not an easy task. It would require a lot of effort for people to completely forego their past drug habits and seek alternative activities that are not as instantly gratifying as their past hobbies.
If you are under drug offender probation, one way to distance yourself from your old habits is to form new ones. Try engaging in a new sport, take up a course or two, or even volunteer for a local organization. Doing so will help you push addictive substances out of your mind. It will make you form relationships with people around you.
- Surround yourself with a positive support system.
The key to rehabilitation is finding meaningful relationships that would help you want to be better for yourself. If you are on drug offender probation, you need to distance yourself from your past substance abuse partners and move closer to people who really care about your wellbeing.
Build a nice relationship with your probation officer, be with your trusted family and friends, or try going to group therapies for substance abusers. By making sure that you surround yourself with positive influences, the chances of you getting better will be marginally higher.
- Make sure that you do not break the terms of your probation.
As mentioned, people under drug offender probation have a long list of court-mandated rules and regulations that must be strictly followed. This includes random drug testing, substance abuse evaluation and treatment, travel restrictions, and employment requirements, among others. It is important that you take all of these terms seriously. Failure to do so will lead to the possible revocation of your probation sentence, and may even send you straight back to jail.
Use your time under drug offender probation productively
Being placed under drug probation means that even if you did something wrong, the court does not see you as an immediate threat to society. Take this opportunity to change your old ways. By doing the things mentioned above, you can begin your transformation and start a new chapter of your life. If you have been charged with drug possession or are currently on probation and need a criminal lawyer, call Miami’s top criminal defense lawyer, Chad Piotrowski.