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Can drug court help those accused of Illinois drug offenses?

On Behalf of | Jan 2, 2024 | Drug Crimes

Despite changing drug laws, the possession of numerous different controlled substances is still a crime in Illinois. Misusing prescribed medication or consuming prohibited drugs can lead to criminal prosecution. Even simple drug possession charges could potentially lead to someone’s incarceration and a long-term criminal record. Drug offenses do not carry the degree of stigma that they did a few years ago, but they can still cause many challenges for an individual.

Someone accused of a minor drug infraction might want to look into ways to limit their risks. Are the drug courts an option for someone accused of an Illinois drug offense?

Some people may qualify for pretrial diversion

The adult drug treatment courts in Illinois are an alternative to standard criminal proceedings. They are a form of treatment court. The goal is to help people overcome the issues that lead to their criminal charges. Someone accused of a non-violent crime that directly relates to a substance abuse disorder could qualify for drug court proceedings in lieu of a traditional criminal trial.

Instead of entering a plea and possibly trying to defend against the charges, an individual asserts that their non-violent offense relates to a substance abuse disorder and asks for drug court oversight. The drug courts require that eligible defendants undergo treatments and submit to regular drug screening.

While the drug court process is a lengthy one, it does come with numerous benefits. If someone completes the requirements imposed by the drug courts, they can avoid criminal penalties and a criminal record. They may also learn to successfully manage the substance abuse disorder that led to their arrest in the first place.

Exploring whether the drug courts are an option for someone who has been accused of a non-violent drug offense is one possible way to limit the damage caused by criminal charges.