When you are dependent on a particular substance, your dependency may make you act in ways you otherwise would not. If you live in Suffolk County, New York, and are currently facing a drug-related criminal charge, you may be able to avoid jail time by instead enrolling in drug court.
Per the New York State Unified Court System, Suffolk County’s Drug Treatment Court may be an option for you if you have an alcohol or drug dependency and are facing a misdemeanor or felony criminal charge.
Drug court eligibility
Whether you may enroll in drug court is at the discretion of the district attorney’s office. However, certain offenses, such as violent offenses or drug sales offenses at the felony level, make you ineligible for participation in a drug court program. If the district attorney’s office believes you are a good fit for the program, the next step involves you pleading guilty to the charge you face. Then, the judge on your case defers any sentencing until you are able to complete the drug court program.
Drug court participation
The duration of drug court depends on whether the charge to which you plead guilty is a misdemeanor or felony. A misdemeanor requires you to spend at least a year in drug court. A felony offense requires a commitment of at least 18 months. While enrolled, expect to have to make regular appearances before a judge or program administrator. Plan, too, to have to take periodic drug tests and uphold other program compliance requirements.
Failing to follow all drug court rules and guidelines may lead to exclusion from the program.