Even nonviolent drug offenses often mean major penalties for the people accused. Virginia state law imposes penalties for using, possessing and transferring controlled or prohibited substances. Depending on the substance involved and the amount police claim to have found, you could face years in state custody, large fines and possibly a felony criminal record as well.
Virginia has very strict rules regarding the illegal possession, manufacture and distribution of controlled or prohibited substances. Even a first offense will likely change your life forever if you plead guilty. Defending yourself is the simplest way to avoid the consequences and social stigma that comes from a drug conviction.
However, you may feel like you are at a disadvantage because there is plenty of evidence against you. You may also struggle with a substance use disorder. You may not make the same rational decisions you usually would when struggling with chemical dependence. For some people facing criminal offenses, the Virginia adult drug treatment courts could be a viable option.
What are the drug treatment courts?
The adult drug treatment courts are an alternative to typical Virginia criminal court proceedings. Those accused of nonviolent offenses and with a provable substance abuse disorder can sometimes ask to go through drug court instead of criminal court. The courts will review the request and may approve it if the defendant qualifies.
Drug court proceedings typically require that the defendant complete numerous tasks, including attending substance abuse treatment and frequent meetings with court officials. Randomized drug testing is also part of the drug court program. It often takes two years or longer to complete the drug court process.
Of course, when someone is successful, they can avoid criminal penalties and a criminal record. The drug courts offer someone an opportunity to seek treatment rather than to face punishment when chemical dependence leads to criminal charges.
The drug courts are one solution for pending criminal charges
Not every individual accused of a drug-related offense in Virginia will qualify for proceedings in the drug treatment courts. There are other potential ways for someone accused of violating drug laws to avoid a criminal conviction. Learning more about common defense strategies can help those worried about the impact of upcoming drug charges.