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What does going through the drug courts involve?

Drug crimes often stem from addiction, and the criminal justice system has struggled to properly handle addiction. Locking people up for drug use has not solved society’s addiction problem. The criminal justice system has had to adjust to an influx of non-violent offenders in recent decades due to the criminalization of addiction.

One of the ways to reduce the strain on the criminal courts and to give those with addiction issues a second opportunity is to move some criminal cases for those accused of minor drug offenses to alternate courts. The Georgia drug courts serve as an important tool for helping those struggling with addiction and facing criminal charges to reclaim their lives.

If you qualify to go through the drug courts, you can avoid standard criminal penalties and possibly move on without a permanent criminal record. What does going through the drug courts involve? 

The drug courts focus on helping people get treatment

Addiction to or dependence on chemical substances is a medical issue. Many people struggling with addiction will not be able to overcome their dependence without intervention and professional support. The drug courts offer this instead of standard penalties for those whose crimes stem from an addiction.

If you qualify for adjudication in the drug courts, it is not an instant process. You can expect to spend at least two years but up to four years working through the program. Requirements include multiple court hearings, random drug screening, addiction therapy, drug education and 60 days of incarceration in many cases. However, if you complete the program successfully, not only could you conquer your addiction but also pay your debt to society without receiving a permanent criminal record.

The drug courts are one of many options for those facing drug charges

Facing drug charges in Georgia can lead to prison time, employment and educational limitations and even custody issues if you have children. The drug courts can be a harm-reduction option for those who acknowledge that they a have health issue that needs support.

Those accused of a drug offense they did not commit may prefer to approach their charges with a robust defense strategy instead. Exploring all of your options can help you make the decisions that will benefit you the most after an arrest for an alleged drug offense.