About California's Drug Courts

You’ve probably heard people complain about the penalties for drug possession offenses: “Jail doesn’t help. What these people really need is rehabilitation. Drug possession is a sign of a deeper problem. Drug users need rehab, not punishment.” Well, the courts tend to agree with these opinions, at least to an extent.

Like many states, California has established Drug Courts, which were specifically created to take non-violent offenders who commit drug crimes and use an alternative means of punishment. California’s Drug Courts use various methods, such as probation supervision, substance abuse treatment, and close judicial oversight to address non-violent drug-related offenders.

California’s Drug Courts help first-time offenders, juveniles, repeat offenders, parents whose children are in the child welfare system, and people who have violated their drug probation. Most participants have abused drugs and alcohol for 10 or so years and have received little to no treatment for substance abuse. The three Drug Courts are: Dependency Drug Court, Adult Drug Courts and Juvenile Drug Courts.

The goals of Drug Court are to:

  • Address the causes behind substance abuse.
  • Reduce substance abuse in our communities.
  • Reduce recidivism, which stems from substance abuse.
  • Help the offender become successfully rehabilitated.
  • Promote long-term recovery with counseling and drug education.
  • Help the offender become a productive member of society.
  • Help reduce how many children are under the care of the Child Welfare System.

Advantages of Pre-Plea Diversion

Under California’s Pre-Plea Diversion Program, a defendant’s criminal proceedings can be suspended while he or she participates in a Drug Court program, which involves drug testing, counseling, drug education, as well as other requirements. This program is for drug possession offenders.

What are the benefits of enrolling in and completing Drug Court? Upon successful completion of the program, the defendant’s charges may be dismissed. What does this mean to the defendant? It means his or her case is discharged and they do not get a criminal record for the drug offense.

Are you or someone you love facing drug charges? If so, contact our firm today to schedule a free consultation with an Orange County drug possession attorney!

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