Punishing a wrongdoer for their actions is only part of the criminal justice system here in Minnesota. In fact, arguably a more important aspect is how the court helps to rehabilitate an offender and keep them from committing crimes in the future. There are a number of ways the court tries to keep offenders on track, the main way being probation. During probation, a person may be forced to avoid alcohol, drugs, certain establishments or contact with specific individuals in hopes of helping them stay away from potentially dangerous situations.
Another part of a sentencing agreement that aims to help cut recidivism is an education course. These courses are designed to help educate a person on the dangers of their choices and give them the tools to make better choices in the future. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at some of the courses you may be required or recommended to attend following certain criminal convictions.
Alcohol and Drug Classes in Minnesota
Here’s a look at some of the common substance abuse education courses offered in Minnesota:
Minor in Possession Education Class – This type of course is for individuals under the age of 21 who have been caught illegally purchasing, possessing or consuming alcohol. It focuses on the dangers of underage consumption, how alcohol affects your brain during this critical stage of development, and how it can negatively impact other aspects of your work, school or social life. It isn’t designed to scare people away from alcohol forever, but it can help explain some ways to consume responsibly once you’ve reached legal age.
DUI Education Class – As the name implies, this course would be for an individual who has been convicted or who pleaded to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. They will educate attendees on how your ability to drive safely is compromised when you’re over the legal limit and they’ll provide some sobering facts about drunk driving related crashes.
Substance Abuse Education – Substance abuse education may be ordered for individuals convicted of drug possession or distribution charges, or for individuals who commit crimes while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Someone who earns a disorderly conduct or public intoxication conviction may be required to take a general substance abuse course or one specific to their crime. Again, these focus on how the substance inhibits your ability to make good choices, and leaders work to help attendees figure out how to make better choices in the future.
Victim Impact Panel – Finally, a victim impact panel is typically reserved for DUI convictions or charges stemming from an alcohol-related car accident. During a victim impact panel, you’ll hear from family members whose lives have been forever changed as a result of an alcohol or drug-related incident. These can be very emotional sessions for all involved, and they are a strong way to send a message about the dangers of drunk driving and other actions.
If you’ve been told you need to attend one of these sessions, or you’re facing charges and want to voluntarily take one of these classes to get out in front of a charge while your case is pending (oftentimes a move we recommend), reach out to Appelman Law Firm today for some assistance.