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Is Adult Drug Court a viable option for you?

No one sets out to become addicted to drugs, but it happens. Perhaps you suffered an injury and your doctor prescribed opioids for your pain. Before you realized it, you were addicted. When doctors would no longer give you the pills, you went looking for them elsewhere.

At some point, you had an encounter with police, and they found you illegally possessing drugs. Instead of accepting the criminal penalties for drug possession, you requested that the court send you to Adult Drug Court. If accepted, you would need to plead guilty to the charge. The court will defer your sentence, pending the successful completion of the program, at which point the court will dismiss the charges and the sentence.

Can you participate in the program?

Before you can take this route, you will need to meet the minimum qualifications. Some of them include the following:

  • You must go through an assessment to determine whether you are dependent on drugs.
  • You must be at least 18 years of age.
  • You cannot have violent convictions on your record.
  • You cannot be on parole, probation, supervised release, mandatory release or any other supervision.
  • If you have a co-occurring psychosis, you must be on medication to stabilize your condition or be willing to go through the process of getting to that point. Even then, the program will consider you on a case-by-case basis.

If you meet these criteria, then you move to the enrollment phase. You must apply and undergo an assessment by the Dorchester Alcohol and Drug Commission. If accepted, you receive notification of your acceptance and commencement date.

Why this would be a good option

In addition to having the charges against you dropped and not having to serve your sentence, you get the chance to beat your addiction and get your life back on track. More than likely, your addiction interfered with your personal relationships and your employment. Once you are clean, you can begin to repair those relationships and perhaps get back to work.

You could also avoid other repercussions that come with a conviction for a drug crime, such as the loss of your driver's license and the right to own weapons. The court may also provide you with an order that destroys all records pertaining to your arrest and the charges filed against you. You could truly receive a second chance.

You don't have to face the charges alone

This may sound good, but getting there may not be as easy as it sounds. Fortunately, you don't have to go through this alone. You have the right to legal representation, and taking advantage of it could help you determine whether Drug Court will work for you and help you get into the program.

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