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How does the drug court program work?

by | Mar 21, 2023 | Criminal Defense

The drug court program differs from the traditional criminal court process. It is often utilized on behalf of those who have been accused of nonviolent drug offenses. They are allowed to participate in the drug court program instead of being sentenced and potentially serving a term in prison. If they complete the program properly, going through a drug treatment program and taking mandatory tests, then they will have their charges dropped without incurring a conviction on their permanent record.

You can see how beneficial this opportunity could be for someone who is facing drug charges. A permanent record can make it harder to go to school, get a loan, rent an apartment or get a job. A drug treatment program can help someone avoid these hurdles as they attempt to turn their life around. But there’s one major reason why this system seems to be working so well: It focuses on addiction.

Breaking the cycle

The problem with sending people to jail for drug offenses is that many of these offenses result from addiction. For example, when people get addicted to painkillers and they cannot break that addiction on their own, their challenges may lead to all sorts of illegal drug transactions. As a result, someone who is struggling with addiction may have been arrested for purchasing pills or possessing them without a prescription because they simply couldn’t function without access to their drugs “of choice.”

If you put that person behind bars, they will likely be released and immediately return to the same behaviors. After all, their addiction was never treated. But the drug court program focuses on treating addiction and helping the affected person get better. Once they have completed the program, the hope is that they will be working their recovery successfully and so they won’t need to return to those criminal activities to “feed” their addiction.

Exploring your options

If you are facing drug charges, it’s very natural that you’d be worried about your future. Drug court is one option that you may have, so be sure you know what steps to take to avail yourself of that opportunity if it is available to you. Speaking with an attorney is a good first step forward.