If you’ve been charged with a drug crime, could “drug court” offer you an unexpected solution to your problems?
Local officials established the Harrison-Rockingham Drug Treatment Court in Dec. 2017. Many defendants convicted of drug-related offenses often faced incarceration — instead of treatment for their addictions — until government officials created this alternative sentencing program a few short years ago.
Your participation in this program may allow you to receive any substance abuse treatment that you need and help you keep your criminal record clean in the process. You may want to learn more about this program’s participation criteria, and any obligations you may have should court officials allow you to participate.
Who qualifies for participation in drug court?
The judicial system must consider a defendant to have a high need, be at high risk or likely to re-offend to qualify for participation in Harrison-Rockingham Drug Treatment Court.
Substance abuse counselors often need to confirm that a defendant has an alcohol or drug addiction before referring a defendant to drug court. The counselor generally needs to verify that the defendant seems receptive to getting help as well.
Prosecutors also generally screen prospective participants’ criminal histories to confirm that a defendant doesn’t have prior felony convictions for violent offenses on their record. Prosecutors may also verify that a defendant doesn’t have any other open cases before agreeing to admit a defendant into this program.
What can defendants expect drug court to be like?
Defendants fortunate enough to receive admission to drug court can expect the court to drug test them twice a week. They can also anticipate participating in intensive outpatient therapy sessions and life skills classes, which aim to equip participants with the necessary insight to resist drugs, manage mental health concerns and obtain career advancement.
Participants can expect their drug court obligations to last anywhere between six months and two years. A defendant’s non-compliance with court orders may result in the assessment of penalties, whereas successes may result in incentives.
Your participation in drug court may minimize the disruptions criminal charges or convictions generally cause. There’s no guarantee that the court will allow you to participate in such a program, though. An attorney may be able to suggest solutions that will enhance your chances of admission when you’re committed to turning your life around.