Finding a drug court program in Texas can help you or your loved one get the help you need for addiction and possibly avoid jail time for eligible drug-related legal offenses. While recent legislative changes have offered some measure of legal protections for low-level marijuana offenses, there are still many people who face lengthy jail sentences and often fail to get quality help in their journey toward substance abuse care. At the same time, historically marginalized populations face disproportionate arrest and sentencing for drug-related crimes.
For example, in Travis County, where Recovery Unplugged offers addiction treatment at our Austin locations, the number of Possession of a Controlled Substance (POCS) arrests has increased by over 40 percent over the past seven years, according to data from the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition. The organization also reports that from 2017-2018, Black individuals represented 29 percent of less-than-a-gram POCS cases in Travis County, despite comprising less than nine percent of the county’s population.
The bottom line is that you or your loved one shouldn’t have your life derailed because you need help for a medical condition like substance use disorder. If you or someone you care about are in need of help after a drug arrest in the state, here are some things you need to know about finding a drug court program in Texas.
Am I Eligible for a Texas Drug Court Program in?
There are multiple types of drug court programs in Texas for adult and juvenile populations, as well as families. Eligibility requirements vary for all different types. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice offers a comprehensive list of drug courts in Travis County and throughout the rest of the state, as well as corresponding specialty courts for mental health-related legal issues.
Generally speaking, you may be eligible for drug court in Texas if you have committed a non-violent offense, are a first-time offender receive therapy, attend drug recovery meetings, complete urinalysis and show up for court appearances.
Most drug court programs in Texas will last a year to 18 months, depending upon the nature of the agreement and the ability of participants to complete the program. Successful completion of drug court requires passing routine drug screenings, fulfilling established program objectives and avoiding additional charges, both drug-related and in general.
How Does Drug Court in Texas Work?
Defendants are assessed and evaluated for eligibility after being charged with a drug-related crime.
Upon acceptance, programs include monitoring by a drug court judge, regular weekly supervision by a court-appointed officer, regular urine screenings, and treatment sessions several times per week, according to the schedule of the facility you choose.
In the case of pretrial intervention, the charges are dropped upon successful completion of the program. If the program is part of a probation agreement, the offender participates as a condition of reduced sentencing and other concessions. You or your loved one can either have your sentence reduced or forgiven as part of your participation in a Texas drug court program.
Do Drug Courts Really Work?
Data from the Department of Justice examining re‐arrest rates for drug court graduates found that nationally, 84 percent of drug court graduates have not been re‐arrested and charged with a serious crime in the first year after graduation, and 72.5 percent have no arrests at the two‐year mark. Other benefits of drug court programs include:
- They Provide Access to Treatment
- They Offer Reduced or Diverted Sentencing for Low-Level Offenses
- They Keep Families Together
- They Provide a Framework for Recovery and Healthy Living
- They Save Taxpayer Money Versus Exorbitant Incarceration Rates
- They Help Destigmatize Substance Use
Drug courts have become an increasingly common means of helping Texas residents get past their legal troubles and rebuild their lives in long-term recovery.
Drug Court Services at Recovery Unplugged
Recovery Unplugged offers compassionate, professional and effective drug court coordination services for those who are facing legal issues related to their drug use. We will act as the liaison between you or your loved one and the court systems to offer treatment and properly report and document compliance. Our experienced and qualified professionals have been helping individuals just like you and your family get the second chance you deserve. Contact our staff today if you need help.