As someone currently facing a drug-related criminal charge in New York, you may have very real fears about the penalties you could potentially face if convicted. In addition to fines and possible substance abuse treatment requirements, among other possible penalties, you may also have to serve time behind bars, which, for many people, is a terrifying prospect.
You may, however, depending on the circumstances surrounding your crime and criminal history, avoid serving time in jail for a drug conviction by instead agreeing to participate in drug court. While drug court programs and requirements vary to some degree based on factors such as geographic location, most drug courts require that you undergo regular drug testing and appear periodically in front of a judge for the program's duration. Though not yet in practice in all areas of the country, drug courts, per the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, have proven and positive effects on participants.
Benefits associated with drug court participation
Drug courts hold addicts accountable for their criminal behavior, but they also give them an opportunity to address what is often the root of that criminal behavior - the drug addiction. Because drug courts all but force drug addicts into compliance, many people battling drug addictions find that they remain in treatment far longer than they have in the past. In some cases, they stay in treatment long enough to kick their addictions for good.
So, what types of benefits could you experience after participating in drug court? In addition to potentially avoiding jail time, you are more likely to abstain from using drugs in the future because of your participation in the program. You are also less likely to wind up back in the court system than comparable offenders who do not complete drug court, and you can also save your community money by participating because your situation is less likely to lead to revolving-door arrests.
If you are facing a drug-related charge, find out whether you may be able to enroll in drug court. Doing so may just give you the fresh start you need.