What Benefits Will A Competent Defense Attorney Offer In A Drug Case?
Having an experienced attorney always makes a difference, whether you are fighting your case, accepting a plea agreement, or aren’t yet sure what to do. An experienced attorney can walk you through the pros and cons of going to trial versus taking a plea agreement. Having an attorney can potentially save you hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines, as well as months or years in prison. It is incredibly important to hire an attorney who has worked in the system, particularly with drug offense cases.
What Exactly Is Drug Court?
Drug court is a quasi-diversion-like program that is offered in some counties in Minnesota. In counties that do offer drug court, eligibility is determined on a county-by-county basis. Some counties require that you live in their county in order to be able to participate in drug court, and others require a very minimal prior criminal history. Some counties are more lenient and willing to accept pretty much anyone with a drug offense, as long as they are otherwise able to participate in the program.
Drug court programs can be very time-intensive, and most of them require weekly court check-ins, at least during the first phase. As you move through the program, you may check in every two weeks, every month, or every couple of months. Court contact is very frequent, as is contact with your probation agent. You’d also be required to complete treatment, and likely have to be working or at least looking for employment.
Ultimately, the goal of drug court is to provide people who have a chemical addiction with a support system to break that cycle, get out of the criminal justice system, hopefully avoid a prison sentence, and become a productive and contributing member of society.
Who Qualifies For Drug Court?
Most people who qualify for drug court have multiple prior drug offenses. The qualifications vary from county to county. Some counties will not accept anyone who is facing a presumptive prison sentence, and some counties will not accept anyone who has a mandatory prison sentence.
What Happens If Someone Is Found To be In Violation Of Drug Court?
If someone is found to be in violation of their drug court provisions, several things could happen. First, they could be arrested on essentially a probation violation and held until the judge can obtain an explanation for what happened or what went wrong. Second, if the violation is serious enough or the number of violations is too high, then a judge could revoke drug court and sentence the person in accordance with the plea agreement they made in order to enter the program. The plea agreement may or may not include a prison sentence. Overall, violating drug court terms could have very significant consequences.
Is Drug Court The Best Option For Everyone Who Is Facing Drug-Related Charges?
Drug court is not appropriate for every single person. It’s important for each person to think through their goals and the level of commitment they wish to put forth. Some people simply don’t want the court involvement that comes with drug court, and would rather accept a jail sentence. Drug court certainly isn’t for everyone, but for those who are successful, court contacts will decrease as time goes on.
For more information on Retaining A Criminal Defense Attorney, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (651) 314-9620 today.
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