Drug charges are serious matters in Texas. If this is your first drug charge, you might have questions about what you can do as you face them. The answer to this is that you have the right to present a defense.
When you are facing drug charges, your defense should be more than just preparing for trial. Instead, you should explore all of the options that you have for answering to the charges. One of these, drug court, might be of particular interest to you.
Criteria for drug court
There are specific criteria that you must meet if you hope to get into drug court. One of the most strict criteria is that you can't have any violent charges. Drug court is only appropriate for people with a non-violent case, so make sure you think about this carefully. Another criteria is that you have to be ready to get clean. One of the components of drug court is that you have to address your drug problem and go through rehabilitation.
Conditions of the program
You do have to take drug tests as part of the drug court program. You also have to meet with a community supervisor officer weekly. You will have to hold a job and complete other requirements that are assigned to you during the program. The conditions are strict, but if you entered into the program as part of a pre-trial diversion, your reward for successful completion is not having the conviction on your record. If you are on probation and the drug court program is a requirement, you will have to complete drug court to successfully finish probation.
Length of drug court program
The length of the drug court program varies from 12 to 18 months. Throughout the period, the participant has to go through treatment programs, meet with the supervision officer, and stay off of drugs and out of trouble.
Recidivism rates are much lower upon successful completion
Not only can drug court mean that you won't have a mark on your record for the drug crime, it can also help you to have a motivating factor to remain clean. The recidivism rate is much lower for people who successfully complete drug court. For participants with successful completion, the recidivism rate is 3.4 percent in the first three years. For people who didn't participate, that rate is 26.6 percent.
If you are facing drug charges, drug court is only one option you might explore. Learning about all of the options you have might help you to make an informed decision.