If you have been accused of driving under the influence of an illegal substance, you may be offered drug court as an alternative to jail time. If you are eligible, you will be removed from the traditional court system and placed into this alternate program, which may help you recover from drug abuse and support your efforts with certain incentives. However, before you agree to enter drug court, there are a few facts you may want to learn beforehand so you know what to expect.
1. You Must Be Eligible to Enroll
When you appear before a judge for your charge, he or she may review your criminal history before offering you the chance to participate in drug court. There are a few factors that might influence the decision such as your age, as minors cannot participate, and whether you have a history of violent behavior, as this may bar you from entering the program. If this is not your first offense, the judge may consider you as a candidate to help you end the cycle of addiction.
2. The Program Is Intensive
While you may think of drug court as a reprieve from traditional judicial proceedings, it is important to understand that the program is often an intensive one and will likely require a great deal of responsibility on your behalf. You could be subject to random drug tests, need to appear in court often and remain drug-free in the future. However, while daunting, the program can be beneficial and change your future.
3. Drug Court Involves Many Community Members
Even though entrance into drug court is typically ordered by a judge, there are many individuals involved who may help you on your journey. Police officers, lawyers, social workers, therapists, and even members of your family and friends may all participate in helping you graduate. Having support from multiple sources may give you the courage and fortitude that is required to successfully complete drug court, no matter the circumstances of your charge.
4. Drug Courts Are Successful
Attending a drug court program is likely to greatly reduce your chances of being arrested for a DUI in the future. The Justice Programs Office School of Public Affairs reports that some programs like this have reduced repeat offenses by 40 percent. As such, you may avoid future brushes with the law, avoid having your license suspended, and save yourself the public humiliation that often comes with being charged with driving under the influence of narcotics.
The decision to enter drug court may be a daunting one, but support is available. Contact a lawyer, like a criminal lawyer from Rispoli & Borneo, P.C., today, or go online to schedule an initial consultation.