Kansas Senate Bill 123 provides an alternative sentencing pathway for certain nonviolent drug offenders to receive substance abuse treatment instead of prison time. Passed by state lawmakers in 2003, this legislation aims to address prison overcrowding and recidivism by getting offenders the help they need.
If you’ve been charged with a drug offense, an experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to help you avoid prison time by arguing your eligibility for sentencing under SB 123.
Kansas Senate Bill 123 eligibility is limited to adult Kansas residents who are lawfully present in the U.S. and convicted of simple drug possession charges and some minor distribution charges. Past convictions for drug distribution, trafficking or intent to sell can disqualify them. Additionally, they must meet other specific criminal history guidelines.
Before sentencing, the court will order a comprehensive package of substance abuse assessments. The assessments measure the level of the defendant’s substance abuse problem and their risk for committing new crimes. Together, they help determine the level of care and treatment recommended for the defendant.
If a defendant meets the criteria for Kansas Senate Bill 123 funding and treatment, the substance abuse assessment provider, Kansas Community Corrections, and a mental health professional (if necessary) will determine a treatment plan. The defendant can participate in substance abuse treatment in the community for up to 18 months.
Defendants are expected to pay towards their treatment costs if they are able, and providers will bill insurance when it’s available. Participants must comply with all treatment requirements and probation terms. If not, they could be discharged from the program and be required to serve their underlying prison sentence with no credit for time in treatment.
A defendant could be discharged from treatment under SB 123 if they’re convicted of a new felony or exhibit a pattern of intentional refusal to comply with the program.
SB 123 aims to ensure public safety while reducing imprisonment costs. Successful completion allows offenders to move forward in recovery without spending time in prison.
To take advantage of these benefits, it’s important to immediately contact a criminal defense attorney who’s knowledgeable of SB 123 and related state drug laws.
Wichita, Kansas-based criminal defense attorney Jeremy D. Koop has spent years on both sides of the courtroom. He can help you or a loved one navigate the complexities of Kansas drug cases and potentially qualify a defendant for treatment under SB 123.
The information provided in this article does not constitute legal advice; it is for general informational purposes only.