Can you avoid a criminal record if you’re facing drug charges?

On Behalf of | Feb 21, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

Even the most basic drug charge of possession could lead to a permanent criminal record. Future employers, landlords and even educational institutions look at someone’s background when deciding what opportunities to offer that individual. A criminal record could be the difference between whether or not someone gets a promotion or a scholarship.

Getting arrested for an alleged drug offense is a frightening experience that can leave people worried about their futures. Although many people plead guilty when facing drug charges, they will then be subject to criminal penalties and a lasting criminal record.

Is it possible to avoid a criminal record when facing drug charges in Virginia?

A successful defense can keep the charge off of your record

Pleading guilty to an offense will mean that the record of that charge will tarnish the defendant’s name indefinitely. However, successfully defending against allegations in criminal court will mean that no such criminal record exists.

While there may be information about the initial arrest and charges still publicly available in some cases, an arrest alone is not a justification to deny someone employment or educational opportunities. From challenging the evidence presented by the prosecutor to producing an airtight alibi, there are many needs of avoiding a conviction in criminal court.

The drug courts can help keep your record clean

The Virginia criminal justice system offers a few alternative courts to reduce recidivism and address criminal conduct in Virginia. The adult drug treatment courts are an option for non-violent drug offenders and those accused of a crime directly associated with substance abuse.

The drug courts are an alternative for those accused of criminal activity but struggling with a substance abuse disorder. Provided that the defendant successfully completes the drug court program, they can avoid a criminal conviction and all the penalties that come with it.

Drug court proceedings are a viable option for those who recognize that substance abuse disorder has affected their conduct or who do not believe they have the makings of a successful criminal defense strategy. While drug court proceedings often require 18 months or longer to complete, successful completion of the program protects the defendant from a criminal record.

Discussing the situation that led to someone’s Virginia drug charges can help them determine the best means of avoiding a permanent criminal record.