Distributing illicit drugs is an easy way to find yourself in deep trouble with the law. Sometimes, people are falsely accused or charged disproportionately to the crime, though. If you find yourself in this position, then you will want to look into developing a defense.
One of the worst drugs to be accused of possessing or distributing is cocaine. It is a Schedule II drug in Virginia, which means that you could face up to $2,500 in fines and up to a year in prison simply for possessing the drug. If you sell it, then you could face up to life in prison if you sell over five kilograms.
The good news is that Virginia does have drug courts that attempt to keep those with drug charges out of prison and focused on getting back into society successfully. The state’s drug courts started as a pilot program in 1995 and are now available all across the state. They are available both to juveniles and adults.
What is the purpose of a drug court?
Virginia’s drug court has five main goals. Its goals are to:
- Reduce recidivism
- Increase familiar, societal and personal accountability among those who offend
- Reduce drug dependency and addiction among those who offend
- Promote good planning and use of the criminal justice system
- Reduce drug-related workloads in traditional court settings
In 2019, over 150,000 people participated in drug treatment court dockets. The docket model focuses on making sure that those who go through the drug courts learn what they need to and recover enough to go on to rebuild their lives.
In the current drug treatment court docket, the best practice is to encourage intensive treatment with other support services for a year or longer. Frequent appearances in court, as well as random drug tests, are also required.
If you are accused of distributing or possessing cocaine, being able to go through a drug court may help you not only fight the charges but work toward a better outcome if a conviction is unavoidable. This is something to discuss with your attorney as you start working on your case.