Pennsylvania Drug Court Programs
Drug court programs provide people with a second chance to straighten out their lives and address drug addiction and abuse issues. Pennsylvania drug court programs offer offenders the opportunity to avoid spending time in jail or prison in lieu of attending a rehabilitation program. The key objective of the program is to reduce recidivism, reduce the number of inmates housed in prison, and help offenders to break the substance abuse cycle which leads to criminal behavior.
Speak with our attorneys about attending a Pennsylvania drug court program in lieu of serving time in jail. A program can equip you with the tools you need to help treat your drug and/or alcohol abuse/addiction. Deferred drug court prosecution programs in Pennsylvania allow offenders to refrain from pleading guilty to a crime. Offenders must successfully complete a drug court program to have the charge asserted against him/her dismissed. If an offender fails to complete the program, he/she can face prosecution for the drug related offense.
Benefits of Enrolling in and Completing the Programs
Offenders who attend drug court programs experience substantially reduced rates of recidivism in addition to drug use post-graduation. Drug court participants can spend time with their family while programing and continue to work and attend school. When you enroll into a program, you have the opportunity to learn and identify what circumstances in your life are attributing to any drug addiction and/or abuse issues you may be battling. Experienced counselors will provide you with one-on-one guidance on how to break the cycle of abuse and provide you with tools to address issues stimulating your need to use drugs.
Enrolling in a program can also put you on a path to sobriety. You will be supervised throughout the program. Weekly alcohol and drug use tests will be conducted. Fortunately, you will have a counselor to hold you accountable on a weekly basis in maintaining your sobriety.
Drug Court Eligibility
Counties throughout Pennsylvania offer specific offenders the opportunity to attend as an alternative to serving time in jail or prison. Each Pennsylvania county which offers a drug court program has its own set of eligibility requirements for admittance and graduation. Below is an overview of the common eligibility requirements programs across the various counties share.
To be admitted into a drug court program, the offender must have committed a non-violent crime. This includes non-mandatory drug offenses and/or a 1st offense DUI with a drug offense. The crime does not necessarily have to be drug related. The offender must have no prior criminal record, be under probation/parole supervision, and must be a legal resident of the U.S. The offender must waive his/her right to a preliminary hearing and complete a drug and alcohol assessment. If the offender meets all eligibility criteria, the court will impose a pre-trial disposition, Disposition in lieu of Trial or Criminal Punishment.
Most drug court programs take up to one year to complete. There are four phases with each phase lasting a minimum of 90 days. To successfully graduate from the program, participants must obtain a high school diploma/GED, maintain full-time employment, secure sufficient housing, complete all program phases, establish an aftercare plan, remain drug and alcohol free, refrain from being arrested 6 months prior to graduation, and pay all court costs, fines, and penalties.
Upon entering the program, the participant will be assigned to a probation officer who will oversee his/her activities. The participant must meet all program requirements and comply with its rules.
Sanctions are imposed against all participants that fail to complete a phase, test positive for drugs and/or alcohol, or who are subsequently arrested after entering the program. Sanctions may include a demotion in phase, curfew restrictions, incarceration, and/or termination from the program altogether.
In addition to representing our clients in court, we continuously work with our clients to ensure they are successful in their drug court program. We will answer any questions you have regarding the program and speak to your probation officer in the event any conflicts arise. Your success in the program is our success. We will be with you every step of the way.
How Our Drug Crime Attorneys Can Help You
If you have been arrested for a drug related or drunk driving offense in Pennsylvania, contact my law office for a consultation. Our attorneys will review the nature of the crime and provide you with legal guidance and advice on whether you are eligible to enter a drug court program.
Eligibility is not guaranteed. As mentioned above, you must meet specific criteria to join a program. We can review evidence the prosecution has against you and determine whether you should accept a plea bargain or take the matter to trial. A plea bargain can lead to the reduction of a proposed sentence. It can also eliminate a couple of the charges asserted against you. Some prosecutors are uninterested in negotiating with self-represented litigants. In addition, if you are not an experienced negotiator, you may not perform so well negotiating a settlement with opposing counsel.
As part of a plea bargain, we may be able to work out a reasonable drug court program for you to attend. We will explain all the consequences (sentencing, penalties and fines) you may face so that you can make an informed decision.
We have helped our clients enter various Pennsylvania drug court programs in which they have successfully completed. Hire an attorney that is willing to fight for you and file the proper petitions to have you placed into a drug rehabilitation program. Sitting in jail will not resolve any drug abuse and/or addiction challenges you may be facing. Attending a structured program will equip you with the tools you need to not become a subsequent offender and break free of the drug abuse cycle. Call us today to find out how we can help you stay out of jail or prison in Pennsylvania.
Contact Our Attorneys for a Free Consultation
We believe that we can make a positive difference in your case. Call (610)685-8000 to schedule a free 30 minute consultation, or contact us online by filling out our contact form.