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Who is eligible for this program?

Individuals who have prior non-violent felony convictions and do not score mandatory state prison are eligible for this court.

What happens in court?

At the time of arraignment, each defendant is evaluated in the courtroom by a Drug Court Specialist who provides treatment options to the judge for drug treatment and other services. Normally these options are incorporated into the probation sentence along with regular urine drug testing, support group attendance, and other requirements. Each participant in the program is supervised by a D.O.C. (Department of Corrections) Probation Officer and expected to attend regular case reviews in front of the judge or a hearing master

What happens if a defendant relapses or violates the terms?

Relapse or other violations of the terms of probation do not automatically result in a prison sentence. The court is well aware of the difficulties of establishing sobriety and is willing to work with individuals who are making the effort to stay clean. Violations normally result in a re-evaluation with another, usually more intense, treatment episode.

How does drug offender probation differ from regular probation?

Drug offender probation usually involves drug treatment, increased contact with the probation officer, more frequent urine screens, and support group attendance.

Do I give up my legal rights by entering drug court?

No. You have the right to legal representation at every step of the process. You have the right to a hearing with counsel in the case of a violation of probation. However, a decision to litigate a case will result in a transfer to a regular felony court.

Can I drink alcohol while in drug court?

No. Alcohol is the single most abused drug in the world. It is also involved in many relapses on other drugs.

If I have been using up until my entry into drug court, will I be violated for a positive urine screen?

Not necessarily. If you report recent drug use to the drug court specialist or the judge, you will normally be allowed time to screen negative. However, continued use after entering the program will result in sanctions.

Are there incentives to being in drug court?

Yes. If you maintain abstinence from drugs and compliance with other program requirements, you become eligible for early termination of the program.  Offenders also receive valuable drug treatment. Other incentives can include bus passes, reduction in urine drug screens, permission to travel, and verbal praise.

Can drug court help me with problems other than substance abuse?

Yes. Individuals are regularly given referrals to programs that deal with medical, employment, mental health, education, and other issues.

Has this program been proven to work?

Yes. Numerous studies across the country have demonstrated the combination of drug treatment, case management, drug testing and vigorous judicial oversight as effective ways of helping people with drug problems and an efficient method for reducing the costs of drug-related crimes to the community at large.