Sometimes struggles with substance abuse, rather than malintent, lead to people facing criminal charges. In such situations, traditional penalties and recidivism avoidance principles do not always help. North Carolina’s drug court program, however, may provide a path toward overcoming their drug addictions and avoiding committing future criminal violations.
People facing qualifying charges often benefit from knowing what to expect from the drug court to help determine if they should participate in the program.
According to the North Carolina Judicial Branch, prospective participants must meet certain eligibility criteria for admittance into the drug court program. These requirements include the following:
- Have an assessment for an eligible felony on the structured sentencing grid
- Have intermediate punishment eligibility
- Receive diagnosis as borderline chemically dependent with appropriate documentation or as chemically dependent
Operated locally, some county drug court programs have additional eligibility requirements.
According to the Mecklenburg County Government, drug court participants will work with a case coordinator throughout the program. The duration typically runs for a minimum of one year. While enrolled, they will take part in regular drug testing or screening, court supervision, and drug or alcohol treatment programs.
The state developed and implemented the drug court with several goals in mind. The program aims to help cut down on drug dependencies or alcoholism among adults and minors, as well as to limit subsequent criminal offenses and child abuse and neglect. While offering these benefits to participants, the drug court also helps cut down on the court’s workload of drug- and alcohol-related cases.
The drug court program offers a path to face the penalties of an arrest while working on avoiding future such issues. Depending on your circumstances, you may consider all your options, including working with an attorney and seeking participation in the state’s drug court program.