Residents who are facing drug charges here in Willingboro are fortunate in that they reside in Burlington County, which is one of the few in New Jersey that has its own drug courts. If you’re facing drug charges and you’re unaware of drug court, then you’ll definitely want to learn more about how such alternative court systems work.
Drug courts allow low-level drug defendants struggling with substance addictions the ability to get much-needed outpatient addiction treatment. Drug defendants can generally remain living in their communities with their families as long as they comply with court orders. Drug court defendants may not only be able to avoid incarceration, but prosecutors may also dismiss charges against those who complete the program.
Who qualifies to participate in drug court?
Participation in drug court is generally only open to defendants charged with non-violent offenses. Judges tend to approve defendants with moderate to severe addictions for admittance to drug court. Prospective defendants must undergo a substance abuse assessment and review of their criminal record as part of their vetting for participation in drug court.
What can defendants expect as participants in drug court?
Drug court defendants generally enter a plea in their case before being ordered to complete substance abuse treatment. Defendants must regularly take part in individual and group therapy, submit to random drug testing and participate in Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Defendants must also avoid further criminal charges, remain employed and take part in life skills and vocational training as part of their continued participation in drug court.
Many defendants who comply with the court’s orders ultimately have their charges dismissed. There’s no guarantee that this will happen, though. Ultimately, it’s a defendant’s responsibility to discuss their case with court officials to see if a dismissal is available to them.
Drug court is an excellent opportunity to get the help you need for your addiction and avoid having a conviction on your record. You’ll certainly want to carefully approach conversations with the court or prosecutors when seeking approval for drug court participation.