Could New Jersey's drug courts work for you?

If you have been arrested and are struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol, at some point in the adjudication of your criminal case you may be offered a plea deal involving drug court. Should you take it?

That's a distinct possibility, depending on a few factors. Let's examine those now.

Your crime cannot have involved violence

If you were arrested on a nonviolent charge like drug possession or some minor property crimes, you may legally qualify for drug court.

You will be subject to random drug and alcohol testing

Drug court is not as easy an out as it may at first seem. You can be tested at every appearance and also randomly at the discretion of the court. Those who continue to drink and use drugs will almost certainly be discovered and thrown out of the program.

There is a treatment component as well

The courts acknowledge that an addict's substance abuse problems play a strong role in the commission of their alleged crimes. That's why treatment is a required component of drug court. Said treatment can include:

  • Detox
  • Residential treatment
  • Outpatient treatment

The level of treatment you require will depend on your initial substance abuse evaluation.

How long does drug court last?

To successfully complete the four phases of drug court takes two years. The program is most intensive in the first phase. The requirements slowly decrease as the participant begins to meet their stated treatment goals.

Does drug court help in any other ways?

It certainly can, dependent upon your unique needs. Some participants are able to obtain GEDs while going through drug court. Others may be helped finding jobs in their communities. Still others might need assistance with being issued a driver's license or having their suspended license reinstated.

Attendance required at AA and NA meetings

All drug court participants must agree to attend self-help meetings like Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).

How do I learn more?

If you would like to explore the possibility of enrolling in drug court, address this first with your criminal defense attorney. They can help determine whether you would be a candidate for the program.

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