Perhaps you made some poor choices and wound up facing legal problems. If such choices involved illegal activity, there may be far-reaching implications in various aspects of your life. If New Jersey prosecutors charge you with drug crimes as a non-violent offender, however, you might be able to avoid criminal court if the state permits you to adjudicate your case in a drug court, instead.
Drug courts originated in New Jersey as a collaborative effort between numerous judges, public defenders and other entities. Such courts are governed by the Administration Office of Courts (AOC). If you receive a summons to a drug court, do not make the mistake of thinking you are “getting off lightly.” The drug court system is rigorous and includes intense supervision.
A drug court is a non-adversarial environment
A primary goal of the New Jersey drug court program is to promote rehabilitation and recovery for those convicted of non-violent drug crimes. Tens of thousands of people have had their cases processed in New Jersey drug courts over the past 20 years or so. Many have been able to avoid doing time in jail because of alternative sentencing.
You will undergo drug tests on a regular basis in the drug court program
If you are eligible for drug court, you must agree to undergo drug testing each month or whenever the court asks you to do so. The state considers the program highly successful — made evident by the fact that more than 95% of monthly drug tests from participants produce negative results.
In addition to mandatory drug testing and judicial supervision, you may receive various treatment and incentive services through a New Jersey drug court. The overall goal of the drug court program is to help people overcome substance abuse problems and reduce drug crimes throughout the state.
Reacclimating to society after serving a drug court sentence for drug crimes
Counseling and treatment provided through the drug court program help you beat drug or alcohol addiction and prepare you to re-enter your community as a productive citizen. Through the program, you can receive assistance to secure employment and housing when you enter the transitional phase.
The judge overseeing your case will be monitoring your progress in the drug court program. If you fail to comply with sentencing requirements, the court can take disciplinary action. To qualify for diversion to the drug court program after facing charges for drug crimes in New Jersey, you must be both medically and legally eligible. Your level of addiction must be moderate to severe to qualify medically. The court must list you as a non-violent offender to be legally eligible for drug court.