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Drug courts in Washington state: a path to recovery

On Behalf of | Feb 6, 2024 | Blog, Criminal Defense |

If you face drug-related charges, you may wonder what comes next. You get the opportunity to speak with an attorney, or better yet, hire one, and think you might go to jail.

Well, not necessarily. There is an option that you may qualify for that does not involve going to jail but allows you to focus on getting better by addressing the root causes of your addiction.

Drug courts

The purpose of drug courts around the country is to offer certain eligible offenders, typically non-violent individuals who engage in criminal activities to acquire drugs because of addiction, an alternative to traditional punishment.

Drug court is not necessarily easier, but it is different. These programs help people by giving them support and treatment that is tailored to them and their addiction.

Purpose of drug court

The goal of these courts is to help people get and stay clean. Ideally, law enforcement never arrests them again because they never get in trouble with the law again.

In addition, these courts offer educational or vocational training so these people can become a valuable part of society again. This is encouraging, sort of like the light at the end of the tunnel.

How does it work?

Drug courts use a variety of methods aimed at helping people who suffer from addiction. For example:

  • Therapy
  • Medical treatment
  • Drug testing
  • Support groups
  • Regular check-ins with the judge

The idea is to give the person everything they need to overcome their addiction and break free from it, which is not an easy process. However, with support from many professionals, the court hopes they will be able to.

Is drug court for everyone?

No, there are legal requirements that govern who can and cannot participate in drug court. To enter drug court, the person must:

  • Be charged with a drug-related offense
  • Suffer from substance abuse/drug addiction
  • Not have a history if violent crimes

If a person qualifies and the judge agrees, they can enter drug court. Of course, the person must enter the program to break free from their addiction.

Drug courts are an alternative to traditional punishment, but they are not an easy way out. If you are not willing to give up your addiction, you will not graduate and will have wasted time because you will have to go through traditional sentencing. Ensure this program is right for you by discussing it with your attorney before deciding.