Drug Court: Alternative Sentencing for Drug Offenders

New Jersey Drug Court Attorney

'Drug Court' is a program offered in New Jersey as an alternative to jail time. It is an option for defendants who have been charged with a drug crime and do not have a history of violence. The program works by subjecting the defendant to a rehabilitation program that involves both the criminal justice system and drug rehabilitation professionals. The defendant must go to court on a weekly basis where the judge presides over a rehabilitation team consisting of attorneys, probation officers, and rehabilitation professionals working together to monitor the defendant's progress. In addition to the weekly court meetings, the defendant must also submit to drug testing and attend rehabilitation meetings outside the court.

Who is Eligible?

Non-violent drug abusers who have been charged with a drug offense are eligible for the program. Drug court aims to help people who would not have had a run-in with the law if not for their addiction to drugs. A defendant who wishes to participate in the program must be clinically assessed and legally screened before they can be accepted in. A drug court team will determine whether the applicant is suitable, and the prosecutor must recommend the defendant for the program.

Who is not Eligible?

A defendant will not be eligible for the program if his record reflects that his behavior results from troubles deeper than an addiction. The following factors will disqualify a defendant from the drug court program

  • Any charges involving a violent criminal offense
  • A prior conviction for a violent criminal offense
  • Facts that demonstrate the crime was committed for profit, not out of addition
  • Individuals who employ juveniles to distribute drugs.

Choosing Drug Court

Drug court, in addition to other sentencing alternative such as pre-trial intervention and conditional discharge, is an option that should always be discussed with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Not everyone wants to opt for an alternative sentencing program, but it is important to learn about the different alternatives and gain an understanding of the consequences that might result from litigation. At Palumbo & Renaud, I will take the time to listen to your case, and explain all possible outcomes so that you can make the best decision on your behalf.

If you would like to learn more about sentencing alternatives in New Jersey, contact me today at 1-866-664-8118for a free consultation with no obligations. I will discuss your case freely and confidentially, explain your options, and give you an honest assessment of the likely outcome each option will result.

I defend individuals throughout New Jersey in Middlesex County, Essex County, Monmouth County and Union County in the towns of Elizabeth, Cranford, Westfield, Plainfield, Garwood, Clark, Roselle Park, Rahway, Scotch Plains, and Mountainside.