In New Jersey, substance abusing adults who have been charged with non-violent, indictable offenses have an alternative to a sentence of incarceration or traditional probation: Drug Court. The Superior Court of New Jersey Drug Court program is designed to help treat the addictions of substance-abusing defendants through treatment programs, rehabilitation, and intensive probation supervision. The goal of Drug Court is to reduce drug use and recidivism while offenders are in the program and to provide the tools substance abusers need to remain substance abuse free and law abiding after the participant graduates from the program.
A defendant interested in participating in Drug Court would apply for the program shortly after the inception of his or her case in the Superior Court. The assistant prosecutor assigned to Drug Court would review the defendant’s criminal history and current offenses to determine whether the defendant is legally eligible to participate in the program; generally, defendants accused or previously convicted of a violent offense will be excluded from consideration. After the State determines that a defendant is legally eligible to participate in Drug Court, the defendant is then clinically evaluated to ensure that the Drug Court program will be a benefit to the individual. Once the defendant is found to be clinically eligible, he or she is sentenced to Drug Court.
The Drug Court program is intense but effective. Participants are enrolled in a clinically-driven treatment program; depending on the severity of the participant’s substance addiction, the program will be either an inpatient or intensive outpatient treatment program. In addition, participants undergo random drug tests, meet regularly with their probation officers and appear frequently before the Drug Court judge. Typically, a participant is enrolled in Drug Court for five years although that period may be reduced upon the participant’s successful completion of the program’s requirements.
At the Law Offices of Agre & St. John, we understand how individuals and their families are challenged by the illness of addiction. We understand that many criminal charges are substance abuse related. We will assist our clients and their families in dealing with the criminal problems and treatment needs which arise from substance abuse related crimes. If you are facing a criminal charge as a result of your substance abuse addiction, our South Jersey criminal lawyers at the Law Offices of Agre & St. John will defend you against the charges and will answer any question which you may have about achieving the best possible outcome of your case. Call us today at 856-428-7797 or contact us online.