Many individuals who face drug related charges in the state of Alabama should be aware of drug courts, which offer an alternative to traditional criminal courts. The goal of drug courts in the state of Alabama are to rehabilitate individuals who face drug charges rather than simply penalize the individual. Jefferson County is but one of over thirty counties in the state of Alabama that participate in the drug court program.
Eligibility To Attend Drug Court in Birmingham
The District Attorney in the area where an individual applies determines whether the individual will be allowed to attend the program. The criteria that determines eligibility for attendance in a drug court is determined on a countywide basis. Individuals who are charged with a first time offense for the possession of an illegal substance or drug paraphernalia are often eligible to attend drug court. Often, individuals who have prior convictions for any crimes involving violence are not eligible to attend drug court. Individuals who are approved to attend drug court often enter a plea agreement into a response to a charge that states an individual will go to prison if the individual fails to successfully complete the program. Alabama law also requires that an individual who attends drug court remain employed or attends school throughout participation in drug court.
The Content of Drug Courts
Rather than be placed in prison, Drug Court offers individuals the opportunity to engage in intensive treatment and drug education. Drug Court requires that individuals appear in court on a frequent basis in order to be monitored in addition to successfully attending any required drug education classes. Individuals are also required to be drug tested on a random basis. These programs often last between six to eighteen months dependent upon a variety of factors including the severity of the charge. Many of these programs implement various drug testing cycles that occur with greater stretches of time between testing periods. Completion of the drug court program often requires that individual produce clean drug tests for a period of time and remain involved in positive community activities.
Completion Of A Drug Court
Upon successful completion of Drug Court, an individual's charges will be dismissed and the individual's record will contain no charges for the offense. After a period of time, individuals can also apply for the expungement of the record regarding the offense. Failure to complete the drug court program can result in an individual facing termination from the program or time in prison.
Birmingham Criminal Defense Lawyers
If you are wondering whether drug court is a good alternative to a drug offense, it is often essential to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney like Steve D. Eversole who can evaluate your case and determine whether drug court is an appropriate solution.