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How Gwinnett County's drug court can help you with your addiction

Ask any proponent of legal reform and they'll tell you that by far one of the biggest problems is that it punishes more than it rehabilitates. Over the past few years, though, more alternative sentencing programs such as drug, mental health, DUI and veteran's courts have began emerging. They have as a goal to reduce recidivism by getting defendants the help they so desperately need.

Fortunately, defendants who are arrested for crimes in Gwinnett County have many different options when it comes to them avoiding being left with a long term mark on their record. For defendants with drug abuse issues, it's possible for them to be allowed to have their case handled through the county's drug courts.

In order to qualify to have their case handled within this four-step intervention program, a defendant has to meet certain requirements. For one, the individual's crime cannot be a violent drug offense. Additionally, the defendant must have been charged with their initial or repeated run-ins with the law because of an untreated addiction.

Drug courts are run collaboratively by the Superior Court system, defense lawyers, the District Attorney's office, police and probation officials and drug treatment providers. Each supports the existence of the program because each of these parties has a shared goal of helping defendants lead a drug-free life.

Participants in drug court programs can expect to be required to frequently appear in court, be subjected to repeated, random drug tests, and to have to complete both individual and group therapy sessions. Through a program such as this, defendants are rewarded for having successfully completed certain milestones, but penalized for behavior that has the potential to send them back down the wrong path.

Among the different penalties that defendants who violate court rules may be subject to, he or she may be required to spend time in jail or have their case reverted to a previous stage in the drug court process. A defendant can also be dismissed from their participation in the drug court program altogether.

If you're facing drug charges and you're committed to getting help, then you should contact a Norcross criminal defense attorney who can advise you of alternative sentencing options in your case.

Source: County of Gwinnett Clerk of Superior, State, & Magistrate Courts, "Treatment court," accessed July 14, 2017

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