With the opioid epidemic seeming to take the country by storm, local law enforcement agencies are cracking down hard on both those they believe are selling illegal narcotics as well as those who use them. The penalties for even the most minor drug conviction can leave individuals in a difficult position. They may be facing jail or prison time, excessive fines and damage to their record and reputation that can have a ripple effect across almost every aspect of their lives.
Fortunately, those who have been charged with certain drug crimes may be able to avoid these harsh penalties while at the same time obtaining the help they need to combat their addiction. Across the state, numerous drug courts are in operation, the purpose is to avoid the adversarial process of criminal litigation in favor of support for those combatting drug addictions. Individuals who participate in drug court are closely monitored through drug or alcohol testing in conjunction with treatment and education.
Although drug court participants may be able to escape criminal conviction upon successful completion of a drug court program, their failure to abide by the terms of drug court can lead to them facing sanctions and even the reinstatement of criminal proceedings. Therefore, those who are chosen and opt into drug court need to take the program seriously, viewing it as part of their attempt to raise reasonable doubt as to their guilt.
Drug court isn’t right for everyone, though, and not everyone is offered the opportunity to participate in it. However, it is important to recognize it as a criminal defense option. Depending on the circumstances at hand, there may be other criminal defense options available to a defendant. Those facing drug charges may want to consider whether obtaining the assistance of a skilled attorney who can help walk them through these options furthers their best interests.