In recent decades more and more alternative sentences have been established to help minor offenders rehabilitate without having to go to prison. Drug courts offer alternative sentencing for drug abusers. While they only used to be an option for first time offenders, under certain circumstances reoffenders now can be admitted as well.
How do They Work
Drug courts usually happen after a defendant has pleaded guilty. Attorneys, judges and prosecutors collaborate to make sure that the offender gets the necessary treatment for his substance abuse and other problems, for as long as they deem necessary. This includes counseling, regular drug tests, job training and other education.
The defense attorney doesn’t speak on behalf of his client in drug court, instead the defendant speaks directly to the judge.
Who is Eligible?
Eligibility differs among different drug court programs. Drug courts often mandate that the defendant pleads guilty. Drug courts normally only handle cases in which their was no violence involved and in which the defendant does not have any history of violent offenses. If a defendant is eligible, they can make the decision themselves to go to drug court.
If a defendant finishes a drug court program with success, their conviction could get undone or their sentence reduced. Failing to comply with the program however can lead to jail time or other punishments.
Drug courts have been very successful in providing alternative sentencing for substance abuse cases, with studies showing a much lower recidivism rate compared with defendants that were sentenced in traditional court.
If you are facing drug offense charges, you should consult with a criminal defense attorney on what your options are. The criminal defense attorneys at The Kyle Law Firm can provide you the legal help that you need to get the best possible outcome for your case. Contact us today to set up a first, free consultation.