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Drug court is an option for some non-violent defendants

For people facing drug-related charges, a primary focus of the defense is usually avoiding incarceration. Some defendants might qualify to go through the drug court program. There are some very specific points that people considering this option must know.

In order to go through the Coconino County DUI/Drug Court Program, you have to live within a 35-mile radius of Flagstaff. The program is a 1-year, court-supervised program that is only for non-violent defendants. In order to successfully complete drug court, you have to meet specific markers.

You will go through treatment for your substance abuse problem. This includes group counseling and individual counseling. You will also have to meet with your probation officer, go to support groups and undergo drug testing. Failing to do any of these can result in you being dropped from drug court and having to complete the sentence that was issued at your plea hearing.

The drug court program here has four phases that you must complete to graduate from the program. When you graduate, your charges may be dropped and any probation terms you have might be ended early. That, however, is up to the court to decide.

As part of the program, you will have to abide by a curfew. You will also have to participate in community service if you don't have a job. You will have to report to drug court, your probation officer, counseling sessions and other treatments at a preset frequency. You also have to pay all fines and fees, as well as serve any mandatory jail time before you can graduate.

Defendants who think they qualify for drug court should speak up to find out if they can participate in the program. Carefully consider the requirements before agreeing to participate in the program.

Source: Coconino County, "Coconino County DUI / Drug Court Participant Handbook," accessed June 17, 2015

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