A drug charge in Illinois may have serious consequences, including possible time behind bars and steep fines, among others. However, depending on the type of criminal charge you face and whether you meet other eligibility criteria, you may be able to avoid jail or prison time by entering and completing the drug court treatment program.
Per the Circuit Court of Cook County, drug courts are part of a cooperative effort that typically involves law enforcement, prosecutors, defense attorneys and educators. The programs give certain individuals facing drug charges a means through which to avoid criminal sanctions and overcome their addiction by completing a treatment program instead of serving time in jail.
How drug courts work
Each program works a bit differently. However, all drug court participants must follow all rules and guidelines associated with these court-supervised programs. This typically includes taking drug tests, undergoing drug treatment and making regular appearances in court. If you gain entry into the drug court program, you may also have to maintain a steady job or adhere to other compliance requirements to stay in the program.
Who is eligible for drug court?
You may be a good candidate for drug court if you are facing a drug-related charge where your own substance abuse disorder was a factor. The charge may be a misdemeanor or a felony, but if you face a charge for certain offenses – including violent ones – you are not going to be eligible for drug court in Cook County.
Research shows that drug court programs have proven, positive results. Entering drug court may keep you out of prison for the short term, and it may also give you the support you need to abstain from substance abuse moving forward.