If you were arrested for certain types of drug crimes, it is important to become familiar with the drug court program established under the Illinois Drug Court Treatment Act. This program is intended as an alternative to jail time for people who are charged with drug offenses, but who also suffer from addiction. The theory behind drug court is that accused individuals are less likely to become repeat criminal offenders when they are provided with treatment options instead of going to prison. There are statistics to support the advantages of the drug court program, as Cook County reports that recidivism rates decrease by 84% during the three years post-completion.
However, Illinois drug court is not for everyone. There are eligibility issues, and you may find the strict rules oppressive or inconvenient. You should discuss your circumstances with an Illinois drug crimes defense lawyer, and read on for some important information.
Overview of the Drug Court Program
The point of the Illinois statute is to treat the underlying substance abuse and related conditions that cause many criminal defendants to commit drug crimes. If you comply with all court orders, undergo substance abuse assessments, and complete treatment requirements, you can avoid criminal sanctions for a drug offense. Even better, you may be able to overcome alcohol or drug addiction.
As of the effective date in 2002, the Illinois law required courts in each judicial circuit throughout the state to establish a drug court program. Therefore, the exact eligibility requirements vary among Cook, DuPage, Lake, McHenry, and surrounding counties. However, there are some general qualifications that may apply:
- You must admit to drug use or addiction;
- You need to show that you are willing to participate and are dedicated to completing the drug court program;
- You cannot have a violent crime conviction on your record within the past 10 years; and,
- You cannot have participated in the drug court program in the past.
However, there are some exceptions. You must first get the prosecuting attorney to agree to drug court if you are charged with certain felonies or if you did participate in the drug court in the past.
Terms and Conditions of the Drug Court Program
Though the details and duration depend on the court where you are facing charges, the drug court process may include:
- Diagnosis and assessment of your drug addiction;
- Regular meetings with a probation officer or treatment counselor;
- Court appearances;
- Group and individual therapy sessions;
- Educational programs;
- Relapse prevention treatment;
- Psychiatric evaluations;
- Family orientation, counseling, and education; and,
- Many other requirements.
Discuss Your Options with an Illinois Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer
If you have questions about whether Illinois drug court is right for you, please contact Glasgow & Olsson to set up a case consultation. You can reach our firm by calling 847-577-8700 or visiting us online. The program is not suitable for all individuals arrested for drug crimes, so you should understand the pros and cons before making a decision. You may also want to hear about other legal options when facing drug charges.
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