Drug Court is a special program intended to address the root of the problem for those whose crimes stem from substance abuse and addiction, rather than violent tendencies. The objective of the program is to foster recovery from alcohol and chemical dependency through a collaborative effort of criminal justice and drug treatment professionals. Individuals admitted to drug court are subjected to stringent monitoring, treatment and recovery services. Given how difficult drug court can be and the fact that it often includes months of in-patient rehabilitative treatment, most participants are individuals who would otherwise be serving a significant state prison term. Our attorneys have handled literally thousands of CDS cases and are astute in identifying and assisting those in need of drug court. If you have been charged with distribution of CDS, theft, or another offense and want to explore drug court, call our Newark Office for assistance. An attorney is ready to help you and initial consultations are free of charge.
Persons & Offenses Excluded From Drug Court
The following defendants and types of charges are ineligible for Drug Court: (1) individuals charged with a first degree or second degree offense; (2) those previously convicted of murder, aggravated manslaughter, manslaughter, robbery, kidnapping, aggravated assault, aggravated sexual assault, or sexual assault; (3) cases involving firearms; and (4) defendants who pose a danger to the community if placed on a term of probation as opposed to being incarcerated.
How Long Is Drug Court?
The program is five (5) years long. In addition, individuals admitted into Drug Court are, almost always, required to serve at least six (6) months in a residential treatment facility. The candidate is incarcerated at the county jail until such time as a bed is he/she is placed in rehab. The court has discretion, however, to modify these general requirements and even terminate supervision prior to the expiration of five (5) years.
Is Every Defendant A Potential Candidate For The Program?
No. In order to be admitted into Drug Court, there must be a finding that the candidate suffers from drug or alcohol dependency. This is what is commonly referred to as clinical acceptance into Drug Court.
Must I Plead Guilty To A Crime In Order To Enter Drug Court?
Yes. A condition of acceptance is the entry of a guilty plea and the entry of an alternative sentence, namely, a period of incarceration that the defendant shall serve if he/she is terminated from Drug Court.
Are There Special Conditions That Apply In Drug Court?
Yes. The normal conditions of probation do not apply under this program. Special bail, drug reporting and monitoring, treatment, and attendance requirements apply in Drug Court. Failure to comply with any of these or other conditions may result in issuance of a warrant for arrest, immediate incarceration, admission into a treatment program, or an increase in supervision (e.g. reporting and drug monitoring).
Can I Appeal Rejection Of My Application To Drug Court?
Yes. Each and every applicant is entitled to full and fair consideration. If an applicant wants to appeal his/her rejection, they can do so by filing an appeal with the Criminal Division Manager within fourteen (14) days of rejection.
Drug Court Attorneys in Newark NJ
All drug court proceedings in Essex County take place at the Superior Court in Newark. Our office is located just a few blocks from the Essex County Courthouse and we handle many drug court cases every year. We know who and how to successfully obtain admission into the program and can help you as well. If you would like to know your best options for drug court or any criminal offense you may be facing, call our criminal attorneys at 973-710-1520 for assistance.