As previously discussed, the state of South Carolina offers a drug court program that may allow you to avoid jail time for certain nonviolent offenses if you have a drug addiction. However, in order to benefit from this diversion program, you must adhere to the drug court rules and complete the program requirements.
According to the Office of the Solicitor for the 13th Judicial Circuit, to participate in the drug court program, you must plead guilty to the charges against you. The court will issue a sentence based on those charges, which then gets transferred to the program. Upon your completion of the program, that sentence is then considered satisfied.
Participation in drug court may require you to attend outpatient counseling sessions, attend court sessions and otherwise submit to close monitoring of your progress. Additionally, you must submit to random drug screens. Failure to adhere to these requirements and other program rules may result in you getting assigned additional community service work, more intense or longer treatment, or jail time. For example, you may have to repeat earlier phases of your treatment, comply with increased drug testing, attend additional counseling sessions or advance to inpatient treatment.
Continuing failure to comply with the program’s requirements may result in your termination from the program. If you get terminated from the program before completing drug court, the charges against you and your sentence may get reinstated. Consequently, your guilty plea becomes part of your criminal record and you may have to serve jail or prison time, as well as pay any fines assessed against you.