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When can you keep a felony drug charge off of your record?

| Jun 7, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

Any drug arrest is a stressful experience, but felony drug charges are particularly serious. Even if you avoid the worst consequences, a guilty plea or conviction with such an offense will mean a lifetime of limitations.

Having a felony, especially a drug-related felony, on your criminal record can cut you off from educational resources like federal student aid and also job opportunities. Some people, so frightened about the prospect of a conviction that they don’t want to take any risks, immediately push for a plea deal to limit the criminal penalties.

However, even accepting a plea to a misdemeanor offense when the charge was originally a felony might not help. Your prospective employers could treat you like a convicted felon if they discover the original charge during your background check. Is there any way to keep the charges off of your record?

A robust defense can help you keep your record clean

Going to court to fight back against criminal charges can seem frightening, but is often necessary. Provided that you establish an alibi or create reasonable doubt through your version of the events, a rigorous criminal defense in court could help you avoid a conviction and the criminal record that comes with it.

When facing a felony drug charge, however, the possible penalties may be high enough to make a defendant wary about risking a conviction. Others may have a hard time gathering evidence to build their defense. These individuals may find that the Adult Drug Courts could offer a solution.

Pursuing treatment instead of punishment could be an option

The Adult Drug Courts are one of several different treatment courts that operate in New Mexico. An adult accused of a qualifying felony drug offense may be able to go through the treatment courts instead of the criminal courts.

The system involves supervision, addiction treatment and other court-ordered requirements. It may take several years to complete all of the obligations associated with drug courts, but doing so could allow you to put this whole issue in your past without a permanent criminal record.

Exploring various ways to mitigate the risks associated with a drug charge can help you decide the best steps to take after an arrest.