Court Ordered Rehabilitation-Pretrial

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More or more often, Courts order drug/alcohol rehabilitation as a condition of any bond set for known drug abusers. These defendants happily agree. After spending months in rehabilitation, the defendant returns to Court to discover any negotiated resolution of their case requires time in prison.

“What? I’m a new person. I’ve changed.” And yet, the State seeks to punish a defendant for their past behavior.

Yes, unfortunately this is how process works right now. Courts are embracing the idea of helping individuals with their addiction but prosecutors and judges still seek to punish the behavior with prison sentences.

Can I get credit for the time I spent in rehabilitation towards my prison sentence?

Using mitigation techniques, though, a defense attorney may use a defendant’s life history, change in circumstances based on rehabilitation, and improved record  of behavior to persuade a prosecutor and/or judge to give that defendant a second chance, or in many cases a third or fourth chance.

If the prosecutor and/or the judge is willing to reduce the serve time offer based on a defendant’s successful completion of the program, then yes, a defendant can receive credit.

No credit from the Georgia Department of Corrections, that administrative agency makes the determination of how much credit a person receives on the sentence imposed. Usually, that decision only includes credit for time spent in an actual jail before bond is posted. The posting of bond is the critical point.

The Board of Pardons and Paroles may use rehabilitation as factor in the parole determination.

Simply because a Court ordered a defendant into rehabilitation as a condition of bond does not create a circumstance where credit towards any sentence  will be given.

© 2016 Nancee Tomlinson

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