Our criminal defense law firm represents a large number of individuals who unfortunately have a drug problem. Many of these people are non violent and so in addition to looking for possible constitutional violations surrounding their criminal charges we also consider alternative to trials. While some may say that its not necessary to hire a criminal defense lawyer to obtain an alternative disposition like drug court, ARD, AMP, its important to keep in mind that you hire a lawyer not only to be your advocate in Court but to also serve as your legal advisor.
Drug Court Results in New Jersey
Much like Pennsylvania, the state of New Jersey maintains a drug court program designed to address substance abuse problems in the Garden State. The program was implemented in 2002 and since then it has graduated over 4,000, 88% of whom were employed at the time of their graduation. The program has also produced graduates who have improved their education, restored their driving privileges, and gone on to accomplish better things in their lives.
New Jersey believes that drug court is the most effective way to reduce drug crime, save the state money, and reunite families. Obviously with any diversion program in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, it is important for a person to consider all of their options, which include trial and pre-trial motions to suppress illegally obtained evidence. A diversion program like New Jersey drug court is a great option for a person who would otherwise face state prison or county jail.
Who is eligible for Drug Court?
Persons who are charged with crimes that have a presumption of incarceration are eligible for drug court. It not only includes drug offenses but also crimes motivated by drug addiction. The program requires applicants to undergo a legal review and clinical assessment by drug court personnel. Generally violent and repeat offenders are excluded from the program.
How long is Drug Court and what is required?
Once a person is accepted the participant will begin a clinically driven treatment program that lasts between 12-24 months. The person is required to attend treatment sessions, undergo random drug testing, meet with a probation officer, and appear before the drug court judge. These individual’s get support from sponsors, other drug court members currently in the program, and those who have successfully completed it.
The program has been an incredible success in New Jersey and in 2012 Governor Christie signed a new law expanding it. While initially drug court was a voluntary program, the new law is actually forcing offenders into it. As of July 2017, mandatory drug courts are now in every New Jersey County, Camden, Morris, Sussex, and Union counties were added at that time.
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