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  • Andrea Bade

Are you charged with a drug offense? Do you suffer from addiction? Do you know your options?

If you have been charged with a drug crime, there can be serious consequences by the Court and life long problems with addiction. It’s important that you know all your options when going through Court for a drug offense. One option for some people is attending Drug Court, which is a program that works to help and treat individuals suffering from addiction.

What is Drug Court?

Drug Court is a program for those who have committed non-violent offense and offers treatment for substance abuse. While the program has some pretty strict requirements and monitoring, it can be a great opportunity for individuals seeking drug treatment. In some Courts, if you successfully complete Drug Court, your charges may be reduced or dismissed.

Drug Court is entirely voluntary program. The Commonwealth’s Attorney and the Judge also have to agree that you are eligible for Drug Court.

What are some of the requirements?

While the requirements for Drug Court differ by jurisdiction, some of the more common requirements for participating are:

· Participate in drug assessment to determine your needs.

· Random and frequent alcohol and drug testing.

· Regular court appearances to ensure compliance – if you don’t comply the Judge can impose a punishment including jail time.

· Frequent meetings with probation officer, case manager, or other personnel.

· Regular treatment is a requirement to participate, which usually includes community meetings such as AA or NA and counseling.

· Intensively supervised to ensure compliance.

· Some programs do random home visits.

· Usually, a curfew is in place.

· Usually, participants must be searching for employment or be employed.

How long is the program?

Drug Court programs usually last between 12 and 18 months.

Other things to know:

Not all jurisdictions offer Drug Court and each program may be a bit different. If you want to learn more about what a program may look like, checkout Henrico County’s website which has a detailed overview of each stage in the program

If you’ve been charged with a crime and need assistance, call Shaia’s Law, PLLC for a free consultation to discuss your options.

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