Sentencing options for students charged with marijuana possession

On Behalf of | Nov 3, 2023 | Marijuana

When college students face charges of marijuana possession, it helps to understand the alternative sentencing options available. Instead of traditional penalties, alternative programs provide opportunities for rehabilitation and education.

There are options that may help reduce the consequences of a student’s marijuana possession charge.

Diversion programs

Wisconsin’s diversion programs allow students to avoid traditional legal consequences. These programs often include drug education courses, counseling and community service. Students who finish these programs show commitment to change and responsibility. This can prompt the court to drop the charges.

Deferred prosecution agreements

Deferred prosecution agreements offer students a probation period. During this probation, they must follow specific conditions set by the court. These conditions may include drug counseling, random drug testing and community service. Successful completion can keep the offense from going on a student’s permanent record.

Drug treatment courts

Drug treatment courts help students with substance abuse problems in a different way. These special courts prioritize helping people instead of punishing them. They offer treatment programs and counseling with regular court appearances. These hearings allow the court to monitor the progress of the participants closely. To avoid jail time, students should actively follow the court’s instructions.

Restorative justice programs

Restorative justice programs focus on taking responsibility and making amends. These programs often include the offender talking to the affected parties. Community service is typically assigned in these programs. This allows students to help their community while working to lessen their charges.

Support networks

A strong support system of friends and family can help students cope as they navigate the complex legal system. Peer support groups can also have a big impact. Having a support system helps manage stress and promote rehabilitation. Students can also receive guidance from their support system to make better decisions in the future.

In 2021, there were 9,055 arrests for marijuana possession in Wisconsin. This underscores the need for college students to understand alternative sentencing options for marijuana possession charges. Students who can demonstrate a commitment to change may avoid long-term consequences.

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