Drug court can be a good option for addicts accused of non-violent crimes
Overcoming an addition to drugs is one of the hardest things a person can do. In many cases, it takes a serious crisis – in other words, hitting rock bottom – to give an addict the push they need to confront their addiction head-on. Even then, most people will not be able to beat their addiction without serious, ongoing help and support.
For some addicts, rock bottom comes when they are accused of a crime and facing the possibility of going to prison.
If you or a loved one is in this position, it is important to consider all of your options before deciding how to proceed. Talk to an experienced criminal defense lawyer, and don’t let the prosecutor pressure you into automatically pleading guilty. There may be other resolutions available.
Is drug court right for you?
Many Nevada counties, Clark County included, offer specialized courts to assist people who are addicted to drugs. These programs operate under the assumption that it is better to give an addict access to treatment and support than to put them in prison.
Drug courts are available for both adults and juveniles. To qualify, the person must be charged with a non-violent crime and must have a “serious addiction of substances.” Participants are required to participate in outpatient addition treatment, to appear regularly before a drug court judge, and pass random drug screenings.
People who successfully complete the program will not go to prison. In addition, depending on the circumstances of the case, it is possible that they will not have a conviction on their criminal record.
Individuals who do not comply with the drug court’s terms can face a variety of penalties including home arrest, community service, time in jail or – in serious cases – expulsion from the drug court and conviction on the underlying felony charge.
Getting help from a lawyer is key
Drug court is just one of several alternative sentencing options available in Nevada. For example, there are also special courts available for veterans, people facing DUI charges and people with mental health issues.
These courts aren’t appropriate for everyone, nor is access guaranteed. If you are charged with a crime, your best course of action is to talk with a Nevada criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The attorney can help you evaluate all of the available options and come up with a plan that protects your best interests.
People in the Las Vegas area can contact The Law Offices of Benjamin Nadig for help with all types of criminal charges. Our helpline is open 24 hours a day, and we offer free initial consultations. Call us at 702.545.6419 to learn more.