What Is Drug Court? Am I Eligible To Be Accepted?
In Travis County, drug court is an intensive program that is offered by the state that allows for a person to have drug charges dismissed. Typically speaking, if you are released on personal bond, you will receive a form from the drug court program that will say “A Chance to Change” and it gives you an opportunity to apply for drug court. Even if you do not intend ultimately to do drug court, if you receive one of those forms, I highly recommend that you go through with the evaluation and you at least see if you are eligible for drug court. There are a lot of things that might make someone ineligible for drug court. If they have pending out of county charges or pending in county charges, if they have pending misdemeanor charges, if they are not drug dependent, they will be denied.
If they are considered to be a drug dealer and the prosecutor believes that this is an instance where they were dealing drugs, they will be denied as a result of that reason. There are a lot of reasons that can get people denied but if you are accepted and you do want to go through with the program, and again, this program is for people who have a drug dependency issue, and it can be a drug dependency issue which is either a felony drug like cocaine, heroin, or something serious like that, or even a drug dependency issue for something as benign as marijuana. That can still get you admitted into the program. If you do get admitted into the program and you successfully complete it, you will have the charges dismissed and you will subsequently be eligible, after the statute of limitations has run, to get the charges erased (expunged) from your record.
It is, however, an intensive program that involves coming to court at least once a month during the early stages and submitting to frequent urinalysis. The other reason that many of my clients don’t end up doing drug court is because they will have a requirement for “treatment and counseling as recommended,” and when you get entered into the program, you may not have any idea of what or how serious that treatment and counseling will be. But for a lot of my clients who have felony drug charges the evaluators want them to undergo inpatient treatment, and so if you are considering doing drug court you should deal with whether there is a possibility that they recommend that you have to complete in patient treatment what people would normally call rehab. Normally it is a minimum of 30 days and it can be up to 90 days in this treatment program.
So while I’m describing this program as intensive, that’s what I’m talking about. It is the requirements of going to court frequently, being able to submit to urinalysis frequently and also having to go through all that treatment but if it is the type of situation where you have a drug dependency issue, it is certainly a great program to be able to take advantage of as it can result in full dismissal of the charges, and it will force you to confront and deal with your addiction.
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