Drug Court in Georgia
The first Drug Court was formed in Miami-Dade County, Florida in 1989. A group of professionals decided that lasting change was needed in the lives of drug offenders and that Drug Court could be an answer to the programs. After the success of their drug court, states all across the nation began implementing drug courts in their own counties.
The purpose of drug court is to stop the abuse of drugs and alcohol and related criminal activity and allow for a second chance to those charged with serious drug offenses. Almost every county in Georgia has their own drug court, or they are connected to a drug court in some manner. Drug court requires the participant to complete the requirements of the program in order to graduate. The program usually includes treatment, random drug screens, attendance of AA meetings and regular court appearances.
Studies have shown that drug courts have been effective in reducing drug use in offenders in the future, reducing criminal recidivism, generating cost savings to the community, and contributing to the quality of life for those served by the Courts. It benefits the county in many ways, but one significant benefit is that drug court is cheaper than spending the money on inmates in prison. Participants are encouraged to take charge of their own recovery, and this responsibility is what has helped make Drug Court so successful.
Who can Participate in Drug Court?
Non-violent felony drug defendants comprise most of the people accepted by the drug court team. The offender must be over 17 years old, and courts require that the offender is a resident of the county in which the Drug Court is located. In addition, offenders must voluntarily agree to participate in the Drug Treatment Court program. Drug court is intended for those who are addicted or are abusing drugs or alcohol and wish to change. If you have been charged in a different county than you live, your Georgia Drug Attorney can help negotiate a drug court transfer into the county you reside in.
Offenders with a history of violent conduct, unstable medical conditions, or current parole status are not allowed to participate. Furthermore, if the wrongdoer has previously been terminated from Drug Treatment Court, they will be denied from the program.
Drug court is an amazing opportunity for those accepted because if the participant completes the program, the charges are dismissed. Although the court through the drug court program can sanction participants to jail time for unclean screens, or failing to follow the program guidelines, many participants are spared from heavy prison sentences if it not for the drug court program.
Fulton County Felony Adult Drug Court
Fulton County has a non-traditional program for felony offenders addicted to alcohol and/or drugs. Fulton County's program requires participants to adhere to a strict set of rules for a minimum of 18 months. During that time, participants must actively participate in an intensive outpatient rehabilitation program or participation in some other court-approved treatment program. They must also appear regularly before a Judge to review their progress and provide urine samples for random drug screening. To graduate from the program, participants must refrain from using drugs and/or alcohol for a minimum of six months, be employed or enrolled in school full-time, pay a program participation fine of $750 and complete all requirements of the program.
Fulton County offers additional services such as job skills training, G.E.D. preparation, anger management, budgeting, job readiness, and culinary classes to help offenders receive helpful information for them to succeed in the future.
Upon graduation of Drug Court, offenders will have the charges brought against them dismissed, or they may avoid jail time through a successful completion of the program.
Gwinnett County Drug Court
Gwinnett County has a five-phase intervention program for adults who have pled guilty to one or more non-violent drug offenses and who desire to stay sober or clean. The program requires a commitment of a minimum of 21 months. Their program entails frequent court appearances, random drug testing, as well as individual and group counseling sessions. The program has incentives for completing for staying on track but also imposes sanctions for adverse behavior. If participants do not comply with the program requirements after penalties have been enforced, they may be terminated from Drug Court.
Athens-Clarke County Drug Court
Athens-Clarke County's Drug Court consists of a minimum of 14 months and consists of four phases. Similarly to other counties, participants must submit to random drug screenings, attend meetings and counseling sessions, and appear in Court on a regular basis. They must also agree to forego from using drugs or alcohol during the program. There are additional programs participants must complete such as attending a Victim Impact Panel or receiving an ignition interlock installation in their vehicle. Some participants may be required to attend Alcohol Risk Reduction/DUI.
Cobb County Drug Court
Drug Court in Cobb County consists of an 18-month program where participants undergo extensive supervision, drug treatment, and rehabilitation. The Treatment Court requires participants to attend frequent meetings, court hearings, and regular drug testing. After successful completion of the program, offenders have the unique opportunity to have their charges dismissed or avoid prison time.
While our office is not connected with Drug Court, we are here to help if you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI. The application process for the drug court program is not easy, and many applicants are denied. Your Georgia Drug attorney knows how to assist you best into obtaining a second chance and a spot in the drug court program. Acceptance is never guaranteed for applicants, but having an experienced attorney to guide you through the process and advocate your second chance with the prosecutor is your best shot at admission into the program.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.