What is MSA (methamphetamine sentencing alternative)?
MSA is a program designed to help the first time felony drug offender receive treatment and intense supervision while providing the defendant with an opportunity to have the felony conviction removed from his or her record. The MSA program is approximately an 18 month program during which the defendant will participate in treatment, group meetings and along with many other requirements. Not all individuals are eligible to participate in the MSA program. In order to participate in MSA, the State’s Attorney’s Office must first consent to a defendant’s participation in the program. If the State consents, the defendant must then be approved by the MSA committee before starting the program. If the program is successfully completed, the defendant will return to court and the State will officially dismiss the felony drug charge. If the defendant fails to complete the program, he or she will then return to court to be sentenced, and at this time, the Court could send the defendant to the penitentiary or impose county jail time and probation. If the defendant does not successfully complete the MSA program, the conviction will remain on his or her record permanently.
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