How does drug court affect drug charges?

In Texas, drug charges can carry significant weight. If you face drug charges but want an opportunity to better yourself, rather than face incarceration, there are options for you in the form of drug court. The Center for American Progress cites that every 25 seconds there is an arrest for drug possession. There are about 460,000 people incarcerated for drug charges and another 1.15 million people on probation or parole. 

The goal of drug court programs is to reduce recidivism and substance abuse through treatment and supervision instead of incarceration. 

What is a drug court?

Drug courts are programs that focus on treatment and intense supervision. These judicially led programs last from one year to 18 months. The Department of Health and Human Services asserts that drug courts are for non-violent and low-level offenders. In drug court, you are responsible for your behavior and must abstain from drug use throughout your program. 

How does drug court work?

According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, to qualify for drug court you have to undergo an assessment. The judge must determine that you could benefit from the treatment. Once in the program, a judge and a community supervision officer will monitor you. You will have to meet with your community supervision officer weekly. Also, you will have to take frequent drug tests and will have to attend treatment sessions several times a week. If you fail to meet your obligations to the court, you could face jail time or other penalties. If you take part in the program before your trial, the court may drop your charges entirely.