It has been demonstrated time and again that people struggling with drug addiction will not be able to access the resources they need to deal with their problem by going to prison. If anything, prison time exacerbates most psychological and emotional problems associated with addiction.
Nevada Drug Court is an alternative to incarceration, a rehabilitation program lasting about a year that attacks addiction head-on. Not only is it an alternative to prison, but a graduate of the program will not have a criminal conviction on their record, either. Although not everyone is eligible for this program, hiring a Las Vegas defense lawyer may help you get admitted.
Nevada Drug Court can be an effective alternative to prison in the cases of some narcotics addicts. Established in 1992, Drug Courts have since helped thousands of people become sober. Benefits of the program include, perhaps most significantly, not having to go to prison. It also means maintaining a clean record, which will improve your chances of getting work in the future as well as avoiding other disadvantages of having a criminal record.
Drug Court in Las Vegas, Nevada, is a probation program and requires participants to do the following:
- Attend outpatient rehab and treatment, which counseling takes place once or twice a week.
- Appear regularly before the judge, who will monitor your progress. These appearances usually begin with once a week, but depending on your progress may decrease over time.
- Stay clean and sober, as well as submit to random drug testing to confirm that you have done so.
Las Vegas Drug Court typically lasts about a year. Requirements may vary, however, depending on the person, the circumstances, and the severity of the potential charges against them. Your attorney will work with the prosecutors and the judge overseeing your case to come to decisions about the details of your case and the time you will be spending in the program. For a brief preview of the process, read on below:
- The accused pleads guilty or “no contest” to one of these offenses: the Nevada crime of drug possession, of unlawful drug use, or possession of drugs which may not be introduced into interstate commerce.
- The judge will then decine to convict you and will suspend the case by putting you on probation.
- You then complete the Nevada Drug Court program designated for you in the time allotted (usually about a year).
- Fulfill these requirements satisfactorily and the judge will dismiss your case.
Those ineligible for this program usually include (1) people who have already been convicted of drug offenses and (2) people who have been charged with drugs sales and other trafficking-related offenses. Furthermore, only people who are true addicts are eligible.
What if you are not a drug addict and you still want to do Nevada Drug Court? Is it an option for non-addicts who still want to avoid prison and a criminal record?
Depending on your case, the judge overseeing it may permit you to do a drug education class instead of outpatient rehabilitation. These classes usually last about eight hours. If you take Drug Court, however, but do not comply with your requirements and regulations, there can be repercussions. These include being thrown out of Drug Court, which would then lead to your conviction of your original charges. You would likely then face time in prison.
In practice, however, and depending on your motivation to become sober and your attitude, judges are often willing to give second chances. Less severe punishments also exist, and these include: community service, increased supervision and/or counseling, a shorter jail term, or house arrest.
Once you have completed Drug Court in Las Vegas, Nevada, your case will be completely dismissed. You will not have a conviction, and the offense will no longer be on your record.
Typically, there is a small graduation ceremony to celebrate your completion of rehab. It is quite an accomplishment, especially if you are able to avoid relapse within the first year.
Once you have completed Nevada Drug Court, it is legal for you to deny it ever happened in most circumstances, such as job interviews. However, you must expose your drug arrest history to professional licensing boards.
There are six drug court programs in Las Vegas, Nevada. Each one offers specialized support according to your vital statistics, which include your age, gender, personal history, and family situation/parental status.
Drug Courts exist for adults and juveniles, parents with drug problems, specifically mothers whose drug addiction is threatening the safety of their children, parents who are behind in their child-support payments because of their drug abuse, and for non-violent drug offenders who are currently serving time in prison. These latter folks are eligible to apply to drug court as long as the do so within two years of their probation release.