For students that charged with theft, but who avoided jail time, it started as a prank, but got out of control. Such was the description of the much publicized incident at the University of Alabama’s Mal Moore Athletic Facility in April of 2018. As a result of the poorly intentioned stunt, four students from a nearby SEC school were charged with stealing memorabilia from the Mal Moore Athletic Facility.
The students were accused of entering the University of Alabama facility through an unlocked door and removing certain items. What may have been treated as hi-jinx in years past is no longer. The students were arrested and charged with various offenses.
As reported in the Tuscaloosa News, Browne House lawyer Daniel Pruet – himself a University of Alabama alumni – represented one of the accused. Mr. Pruet’s client was “sorry for the role he played that night… What started as a prank grew into something more serious… [for which he] regrets the negative impact his action have had on those affected. Mr. Pruet’s client is reported to be working hard to make amends and put the incident behind him, in part through the court’s second chance program.
Tuscaloosa’s Second Chance Program
The Second Chance Program is an entirely voluntary program that allows for a case to be dismissed after they complete a three, six, nine, or twelve month program. Second chance is available for individuals with no or little record of previous criminal offenses and whose current charge is a low level offense. To enter the program, the district attorney’s office must first determine that the person charged with a crime is eligible for the program.
Once the offender is deemed to be eligible for second chance, he or she is given the opportunity to plead guilty to the offense, but if the complete the second chance program the case is dismissed and the guilty plea goes away. This can be a strong incentive for people charged with low level felonies that – even if they were to avoid jail time with an ordinary guilty plea – would still be a “convicted felon.” Being a convicted felon can impact everything from job prospects to voting to housing options.
Once enrolled in the second chance program, participants are required to pay a fee, perform community service, and otherwise follow a case management plan. While completing the case management plan, the use of alcohol or drugs is strictly prohibited and the participant is required to do drug screens. For those charged with drug or alcohol related offense, they may be referred to programs like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous.
If your attorney can get you admitted into the second chance program it can be a great way to resolve the consequences associated with an unfortunate lapse of judgment or prank. However, in those instances where the second chance participant fails to complete the program, cheats or fails drug screens, or otherwise fails to comply with their case management plan, they can win up in prison for the length determined in their plea.
Read Tuscaloosa News Staff Writer Stephanie Taylor’s article here and if you’re interested in second chance or have been charged with a crime contact Browne House Law for your criminal defense needs.