NYC Drug Treatment Court Lawyers
In New York, Drug Treatment Court is used as an alternative sentencing program which allows for non-violent offenders with a substance use problem to complete a drug treatment program to have their criminal charges dismissed or reduced. It’s one of the seven “problem solving” courts in the state.
New York has 147 Drug Treatment Courts. Ninety are part of the criminal court system, thirty-five are part of family courts, seven are part of town and village courts, and fifteen are part of juvenile courts. More than eighty thousand people have participated in the court drug treatment programs, with more than thirty thousand of these graduating.
There are a number of eligibility guidelines you must meet, and you also must agree to adhere to the program’s terms. You may be sent to jail if you fail to comply with the terms. Drug Treatment Court is considered an ideal alternative to the usual sentencing because you can both receive treatment and have your criminal charges dismissed or reduced.
Even if you want to use the Drug Treatment Court regarding a drug-related criminal offense, you still need adequate legal representation. The supervision process for the court is involved. You should get in contact with an experienced New York attorney who can explain your legal options and give you the best defense for your unique circumstances. Spodek Law Group is a practice of experienced lawyers who have been defending clients since 1976.
To be eligible for Drug Treatment Court, you need to meet the following circumstances:
- You are criminally charged with a non-violent drug crime
- The crime is a class E, D, C, or B felony (class A felonies are not eligible)
- You have not been convicted of a class A drug crime in the past
- You have not been convicted of a violent crime within the past decade
After you’re arrested, you will be arraigned within about twenty-four hours. At your arraignment, you will be told what charge or charges have been leveled against you. The arraignment is also where you’ll learn if any bail has been posted, and what the bail amount is.
In the time period between your arraignment and the beginning of the trial or the entering of your guilty plea, you can request an evaluation for alcohol and substance abuse. This evaluation will determine if you have a substance use problem, along with whether the Drug Treatment Court program will be beneficial to you.
Judicial Diversion Hearing
Following the evaluation, there will be a hearing during which you may request for your case to be moved to the Drug Treatment Court program. This hearing is called a judicial diversion. The prosecution and defense both present evidence during the hearing.
The following factors will be considered by the court:
- If you’ve been convicted of a violent felony in the past decade
- If you have a history of substance abuse
- How substance abuse contributed to the criminal behavior
- Whether participation in the program will be an effective way of addressing your substance us problem
- Whether you must be confined institutionally for the protection of the public
If the judge makes the decision to offer you Drug Treatment Court, you’ll have the option of accepting the offer or declining it. When you accept the offer, you will be required to plead guilty to your criminal charges. You’ll also have to enter the program immediately. If you choose not to enter the program, your case will go through the usual criminal justice courts.