Alternatives to Prosecution and Conviction for Substance Abusers
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Alternatives to Prosecution and Conviction for Substance Abusers

Posted on in Criminal Defense

drug charge sentence alternative, Stamford criminal lawyerIf a Connecticut defendant is a substance abuser, there are options available for seeking treatment in addition to or in lieu of being prosecuted and sentenced for a criminal offense. These options include the Drug Intervention Program and the treatment of drug or alcohol dependent offenders instead of prosecution.

The Drug Intervention Program is available to nonviolent, drug-dependent defendants in different types of cases in which substance abuse is a major issue. The goals of the program are to reduce criminal behavior and reduce substance abuse. The program uses treatment, including detoxification, inpatient or outpatient treatment; services such as vocational and educational training; supervision; regular drug testing; and court monitoring over the course of 12 to 15 months. Defendants are required to report to the court regularly and must receive orders, sanctions, and incentives ordered by the judge. Defendants can be referred to the program by the judge, defense counsel, state’s attorneys, or court officers. Successful completion of the program can result in a favorable outcome for the defendant.

Alternatively, if a defendant is dependent on drugs or alcohol the court may order treatment instead of prosecution or incarceration.  It is available for defendants charged with drug sale and possession crimes, but is not available for defendants charged with driving under the influence, second-degree assault with a motor vehicle, or a felony. Defendants who have participated in this or a predecessor program twice already cannot participate unless permitted by the court.

In some cases, the court, or even a probation officer, will order an examination of the defendant to determine whether he or she is dependent on alcohol or drugs. Participants can have their cases suspended for up to two years if it is found that the defendant was alcohol or drug dependent at the time the crime was committed, the person needs and is likely to benefit from treatment, and suspending prosecution will serve the interests of justice. If the defendant completes treatment and complies with the conditions of suspension of his or her case, the court may dismiss the charges.

If you are dependent on alcohol or drugs and have been arrested for an offense, you may be eligible for a treatment plan. Contact an experienced Stamford, CT criminal defense attorney who can explain all your options. Call the Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner at 203-348-5846 for a free consultation.