Alternative Sentencing, Explained

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If you have been accused of a crime and are facing the possibility of being found guilty, it is important for you to know there are ways to repay your debt to society that do not involve a prison sentence. If you are a first-time or nonviolent offender, you have a good chance of receiving an alternative sentence, which will focus on rehabilitation rather than punishment. Some of the most common types of alternative sentences are explained below.

Anger Management Classes

If your offense consisted of a physical altercation, destruction of property or disturbing the peace, it is likely that you failed to control your temper at the time of the incident. Rather than handing down a sentence that would disrupt your career and family life, a judge may require you to take an anger management class in order to ensure that you do not commit a similar offense in the future. While specifics vary from class to class, most court ordered anger management classes will teach participants strategies for managing stress, communicating effectively and cultivating empathy towards their peers.

Community Service

Another possible alternative sentence that you may receive is a specified number of hours of community service. By ordering you to do community service, the court intends for you to help the community that you harmed through your crime. While you will have a deadline for completing your hours, you will be able to fit them into your schedule at your discretion. The type of service that you will be able to do depends on the area where you live. In some cases, you will be limited to a few government-controlled activities. In others, you could have the freedom to complete any activity that benefits a registered nonprofit organization.

Anger management classes and community service are just a few possibilities for alternative sentencing. The type of alternative sentence that you receive depends upon the nature and severity of your crime. Whatever sentence you receive, be sure to complete it in a timely and respectful manner.

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