IS DC DRUG COURT RIGHT FOR YOU?

Most Marylanders arrested for pot in DC don’t need “Drug Court” – but it can be a good option for if you have a more serious substance abuse problem.

DC’s “Drug Court” is a sanctions-based program, where chronic drug users are given the chance to have their cases dismissed, if they agree to clean up.

If someone has a serious drug use issue, and is seeking access to a free drug treatment program, Drug Court can offer help.

Drug Court means intensive counseling is combined with frequent urine screening. Those who mess up are given increasingly stiff sanctions. It starts out with having to sit in the jury box and watch court for one day, to a night in jail, then 2 nights in jail, until the participant gets the message – or flunks out.

The problem is D.C.’s Drug Court is typically too intense for the typical marijuana user, unless there is a co-dependency issue.

In fact, I’ve recently had to get marijuana clients out of drug court, because the program was more hassle than what it was worth. Many marijuana users can stop smoking without the intensive programing needed by heroin and crack users.

But, for someone with a serious drug dependency issue, who is looking for an opportunity to get free drug placement, and now has a criminal charge, drug court can be a good choice.

Other options such as §541(e) or DPA are often better for marijuana cases. Whether any program is right for you depends on the facts of your case and can only be made in consultation with your attorney.

Superior Court Drug Court Intervention Placement Standards:

  • Must have a verified substance dependency problem
  • Must complete a current substance abuse assessment, and
  • At least one of the following: 3 positive drug tests within the past 12 months, or verified history of drug treatment within the past 6 months, or a positive (+) test on the date of arrest, arraignment or spot test,
  • USAO & PSA approval.

As always, these requirement can and do change, and special exceptions can always be made in compelling cases. Whether drug court is right for you can only be determined on a case-by-case basis after consultation with your own attorney.



Categories: drug court

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