Many defendants charged with drug crimes don’t plan to become addicted to drugs, yet they make some poor choices and end up in a deep, dark place that’s hard to escape.
If you’ve been charged with a drug crime, you may find it refreshing to learn about the existence of York County’s Drug Court. It may be the answer that you’re looking for to get your life back on track.
What role do drug courts serve?
Many counties across the U.S. have invested significant resources into building up their drug court systems in recent years. These alternative sentencing programs allow nonviolent criminal defendants an opportunity to remain in their communities while receiving the substance abuse treatment that they so desperately need to kick their drug addiction.
Some drug court program supporters argue that these programs are a win-win as they get individuals with addictions to help they need to return to being productive citizens while freeing up jails for the violent offenders who belong there.
Who’s eligible to participate in drug court?
Prosecutors, defense attorneys, probation or law enforcement officers may all refer a defendant to drug court. There’s no guarantee that they’ll be accepted into the program, though. That decision ultimately falls in the hands of the Drug Court Team, which will often weigh its decision on how a defendant performs on a combination of crime risk as well as legal and bio-psychosocial needs assessments.
Anyone admitted to York County’s Drug Court will spend at least 18-months in the program. A defendant will need to plead guilty to their alleged charges before receiving any services. The court requires offenders to enter pleas in their cases at the start so that prosecutors can move forward in sentencing a defendant should they fail to graduate drug court successfully. Any participant that completes all requirements will have their charges dismissed in the end.
Assessing your eligibility for participation in drug court
Your participation in drug court is a privilege instead of a guarantee. There’s a strong likelihood that you’ll go to prison if a judge or jury convicts you of drug charges. York County’s Drug Court system may help you get help and give you that second lease on life, though. A criminal defense attorney can help you understand more.