What is NYC Drug Treatment Court?

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What is NYC Drug Treatment Court?


If you are a charged with a non-violent drug crime you might be eligible for drug treatment court. This is a voluntary program that you can enter. If you complete the program, you may have your charges dismissed or reduced, or receive a reduction in your sentence.

In criminal drug treatment courts you are diverted to a substance abuse treatment program which you must complete. 

What does it take to go to drug treatment court?

You will generally have to admit that you have a problem with drugs or alcohol, which means you will be required to enter into some manner of plea bargain, usually a pre-trial diversion or deferred prosecution agreement. 

As your criminal defense attorneys, we can negotiate your entry into this program. For many of our clients, drug court is the best possible option, the one that allows our clients to keep their lives and freedom, and even to make their lives better. Many who complete the program never find themselves in trouble with the law again. 

What are the rules of drug court?

To successfully complete the program you must keep all of your treatment and court appointments. You must also inform the court if you change your address or employment, or your phone number, or if you are diagnosed with any new health conditions.

You must also submit yourself to drug testing.

There are a series of other rules regarding your conduct, including what you will wear to treatment sessions, and your conduct with dealing with others involved in the program. You are required to answer questions honestly. And you are, of course, required to abstain from any drug or alcohol use. 

The entire process can last a year, if not longer.

What happens if you don’t follow the rules of drug court?

The drug court judge can issue sanctions, including community service hours or jail time. 

Is drug court right for everyone?

If you are actually innocent, that is, you don’t have a drug or alcohol problem and have been accused of a drug crime for reasons other than your guilt, then drug court might not be the right choice for you. 

Only you and your criminal defense attorney can evaluate the strength of the evidence against you, and decide whether it is better to press for dropped or dismissed charges for reasons of insufficient evidence. In some cases, it may even be wisest to take your case all the way to trial.

If you’re in trouble, don’t try to make this decision alone. You are unlikely to even have much success cutting a drug court deal on your own. Instead, reach out to our office to schedule a case review. We can help you make the best decision for your unique circumstances.

See also:

What is a No Contest Plea Deal in New York? 

How Does Alternative Sentencing Work in NYC

Does the DA Prosecute Minor Crimes in Manhattan? 

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