How can Drug Court help those facing drug charges?

On Behalf of | May 28, 2021 | Drug Crimes

Contrary to popular belief, a significant number of individuals who are facing drug charges aren’t big-time drug dealers. Instead, they’re people who possess and/or sell small amounts of a drug to support an addiction.

Many of the defendants facing drug charges don’t typically have long criminal rap sheets either, and many would love nothing more than to kick their habits. If that describes your situation, then you might be an ideal candidate for participation in Greenville County’s Thirteenth Circuit Drug Court program.

Who is eligible for participation in Greenville county’s Drug Court?

Almost anyone facing a low-level felony drug charge may qualify for participation in Drug Court, although most court systems like this require defendants to not have any other open cases or any prior felony convictions on their record to participate in such a program. They also generally require defendants to complete a substance abuse assessment to gauge their interest in getting help to participate in Drug Court.

How does Drug Court work?

Defendants admitted to this program must generally enter a guilty plea to the charges they face as the first step in the Drug Court process. The court generally responds in kind by suspending the defendant’s sentence for 18 months from that date.

Participants generally spend the first 12 months of the program taking part in weekly outpatient counseling sessions. They may also have to attend regular court hearings and be subject to random drug screenings during this time to ensure that they’re staying on track in achieving sobriety. Drug Court defendants must remain employed for the duration of their participation in the program.

The South Carolina Department of Corrections will note that a defendant completed their sentence once they finish their Drug Court obligations. The court may give participants a few chances to make things right if they fall off track while participating in this program.

Repeated noncompliance may result in a defendant’s termination from the program though. A judge may impose more intensive inpatient treatment, community service or jail in such instances.

Is Drug Court right for you?

There’s an application process for admission to Drug Court. You’ll need to put up a good argument to convince others why you should be allowed to participate in it.

A criminal defense attorney can go over details you may want to point out to justify why you should be admitted to the program.