Many lawmakers have had a longstanding critique regarding our justice system because it focuses too much on being punitive instead of rehabilitative. Many proponents of the drug court systems that have been created here in South Dakota and all across the U.S. see these programs as making real change in society.
South Dakota’s drug court system doesn’t just accept defendants with drug addictions. Those suffering from alcoholism may qualify also.
Eligibility criteria to take part in South Dakota’s drug courts
Any defendant wishing to participate in drug court must be facing felony drug and alcohol-related offenses. However, they cannot be a violent offender nor have any other pending cases on court dockets. Prospective drug court defendants must complete a substance abuse assessment to confirm their likelihood of breaking their cycle of addiction through treatment.
What drug court defendants can expect
Drug court participants can expect to plead to their charges but have sentencing deferred pending their completion of program requirements such as random drug testing and individual and group counseling. Defendants who complete the program can expect to have the court dismiss the charges that they were facing. Many of these programs also provide educational or job training to participants to aid them in becoming gainfully employed.
Is drug court right for you?
The court doesn’t admit everyone who wishes to take part in the program. They have to be fairly confident that you’re open to real change in your life to admit you into it. An attorney can advise you of your prospects for admittance into the drug court program. They can also advise you of any other alternative sentencing options that you may be eligible for if you’re facing drug or alcohol-related charges here in South Dakota.