Can I Go To Drug Court? – Alabama Drug Courts

Drug CourtAlabama Drug Courts Are A Viable Option When Facing A Drug Possession Charge

What are Drug Courts?

Drug Courts are an alternative to the traditional criminal prosecution in a criminal court. Drug Court involves intensive treatment and drug education as an alternative to jail time, and is used to assist defendants in coping with their drug use, abuse and addiction. The goal of drug court is to keep the defendant as a contributing member of society rather than simply incarcerating the defendant and making them a burden on society due to the cost of incarceration.

Presently there are over 30 counties who participate with the drug court program. Counties with drug court include the following: Lauderdale, Madison, Jackson, Franklin, Colbert, Morgan, Marshall, Winston, Etowah, Cherokee, Calhoun, Jefferson, Jefferson County – Bessemer, Tuscaloosa, Shelby, Hale, Chambers, Montgomery, Dallas, Perry, Lowndes, Wilcox, Clark, Butler, Crenshaw, Dale, Escambia, Mobile, and Baldwin, Limestone, Lawrence, Marion, Blount, Cleburne, St. Clair, Walker, Green, Sumter, Autauga, Coosa, Tallapoosa, Elmore, Macon, Russell, Barber, Bullock, Pike, Henry, Geneva, Covington, Connecticut, Washington, Choctaw, and Coffee.

How Will I Benefit From Drug Court?

If you attend and successfully complete a drug court program you will be able to preserve your freedom by staying out of jail, you will be drug-free, and your charges will be dismissed upon successful completion. Therefore, you will not have a criminal conviction on your record. In addition, because your charges are dismissed, after it. If time, you may apply for an expungement of the entire criminal record of your arrest and the criminal charges.

Is There A Down Side To Drug Court?

Make no mistake about it, drug court can be hard work. It is not an easy program, and requires serious effort on your part. You will be required to appear in court on a frequent basis for monitoring. You will also be required to take periodic drug tests. This will require you to report for drug test on a random basis, and often to call the drug court daily to determine whether you need to test on any particular day. You will be required to comply with the treatment program that the drug court supervisor designs for you. You’ll have to follow their directions in every way, and attended successfully any drug education are other classes required. More than anything, you will be required to remain drug-free. In addition you cannot pick up any new charges whatsoever.  If you fail to comply with the drug court rules you could face a sanction. Sanctions can include termination from the drug court program, imposition of short jail stays, or incarceration for longer periods. In addition you could be required to undergo inpatient treatment for your drug problem if you fail to respond to more conservative methods of treatment.

Who Qualifies for Drug Court?

Drug court programs are established locally on a countywide basis. In general, a person is eligible for drug court if they are charged with the illegal possession or use of marijuana, cocaine, controlled substances, or drug paraphernalia, or who is charged with obtaining or using forged prescriptions. Additionally, a person who has currently pending criminal charges or has a past conviction for sale or distribution of marijuana, cocaine, or controlled substances is not eligible for Drug Court. Additionally, people who have current charges or past convictions for any crime of violence, including but not limited to murder, manslaughter, rape, felony assault or crimes involved the use or illegal possession of firearms are not eligible for Drug Court.

How Does it Work?

Generally speaking, most drug court programs in Alabama operate on essentially the same basis. If you apply for and are approved to go to drug court you will submit an application. If accepted you will enter a plea agreement on your charge. The plea agreement was likely will call for a jail or prison sentence should you fail to successfully complete the program. Typically the programs last 6 to 18 months depending on your particular case.
You will enter a plea of guilty under the plea agreement, but you will not be sentenced. Instead you will start on the drug court program. If you successfully complete the program your guilty plea will be withdrawn in the case will be dismissed.
If you fail to complete Drug Court, you will be terminated from the Program, you Plea Agreement will be accepted by the Court, and your jail or prison sentence will be imposed.

Do I Need An Attorney?

Yes. Because you are entering a guilty plea is essential to have legal representation for drug court. Additionally, drug court is not always the best alternative in every case. The facts of each case are different, in many times there were particular facts in case which make a valid and viable defense possible. Only an experienced Alabama criminal defense attorney can evaluate your case and provide advice and counsel as to whether drug court is the appropriate approach to your case.

What If I An Not An Alabama Resident?

There are occasions when people are traveling through Alabama, or are temporarily located in Alabama from out-of-state, and are charged with drug possession case. It is still possible to participate in an Alabama drug court program even if your permanent residence is out of state. The situation becomes slightly more complicated because you will be required to complete the same types of programs, and drug test as often as in-state participants. The assistance of an experienced attorney is essential in such circumstances as they can help you locate and enroll in programs at your location and in your state in order to complete the requirements of the local Alabama courts drug court program.

William Bradford and Amber Ladner of Bradford Ladner LLP have successfully helped thousands of clients with drug possession charges enter and successfully complete drug courts throughout the state. If you are facing a drug possession charge please call for a free consultation.
205-802-8823 Local  //  1-855-587-6350 Statewide



Bradford Ladner, LLP. is an Alabama based law firm with offices in Clanton and Mobile, practicing Federal Criminal Defense, Alabama State Criminal Defense, Federal Criminal Appeals, State Criminal and Civil Appeals, Divorce and Child Custody Matters, and Alabama Civil Litigation. We practice in all Alabama Courts Statewide and in Federal Court Nationwide
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