These days, drug crimes often lead to serious consequences. If a judge or jury convicts you on a drug-related charge, you should anticipate facing some stiff penalties. You may, for example, have to pay sky-high fines, attend substance abuse treatment and perform community service, among other possible penalties. In some cases, per the National Drug Court Resource Center, you may find that your conviction also hinders your ability to vote, own a firearm or find work or housing.
Depending on circumstances, you may be able to take accountability for your actions without spending time in jail or prison. While it is not available or appropriate for all drug offenders, you may be able to avoid time behind bars by instead enrolling and completing a state drug court program.
How drug courts work
Most drug courts emphasize your recovery rather than your punishment. Typically, drug courts operate under the belief that, by giving you the tools and accountability needed to overcome your substance abuse problem, you are going to become more likely to avoid re-offending moving forward.
While some variation exists from state to state and from one drug court to the next, most of them involve you undergoing regular treatment and drug testing throughout the program’s duration. During this time, you may also have to uphold certain eligibility requirements to remain in the program, such as maintaining steady employment.
How drug courts help
So, does attending drug court give you a better shot at staying clean and staying out of the criminal justice system? Typically, yes. Particularly successful drug court programs reduce future recidivism or criminal behavior that places you back in the justice system by as much as 35% or 40%. By attending drug court, you also have the potential to save your city or town as much as $6,744.
Overcoming a substance abuse problem may prove difficult under any circumstances. However, you may find that drug court gives you the drive and resources you need to move your life in the right direction.