People break the law for all kinds of reasons. They might commit a crime due to an addiction or desperate financial circumstances. Sometimes, a momentary lapse in judgment can affect someone’s life forever.
The criminal justice system aims to protect the public and also create penalties to deter criminals from engaging in further bad behavior. In some cases, rather than punishment, what people accused of a crime really need is support and rehabilitation. That is why the state has specialty courts. The drug courts, for example, serve a crucial role by getting people with addiction issues out of the standard criminal justice pipeline.
Who qualifies for drug courts?
The drug courts are a form of pretrial diversion available to qualifying individuals. Those with no previous criminal record and strong ties to the community are often the best candidates for drug court. The same is true for those whose crimes reflect an addiction issue more than long-term criminal behavior.
Students and professionals who might suffer permanent career damage from a conviction can ask for the drug courts to hear their case. In a drug court, the judge has the authority to order a person to perform community service, attend inpatient rehabilitation and undergo routine drug screening.
Provided that you comply with all of those requirements, you could not only avoid facing criminal penalties but not end up with a permanent criminal record. A careful evaluation of your arrest and your personal history with an experienced attorney can give you an idea about whether drug court could be an option for you.