What is Drug Court in NJ?
Prison is not always the most appropriate form of rehabilitation for drug offenders in New Jersey. Prisons often lack the appropriate measures necessary to combat drug and substance addiction. Moreover, the annual cost of Drug Court has been roughly calculated at 25% of the cost for annual incarceration in New Jersey (A 2010 state report estimates Drug Court costs roughly $10,000 while imprisonment costs roughly $40,000). For these reasons, along with many others, New Jersey has become one of the more progressive states by implementing what is known as Drug Court. As you will see below, defendant’s whom are convicted of possessing prescription drugs, marijuana, heroin or cocaine, may be eligible to participate in Drug Court in an effort to avoid a lengthy State prison sentence. The Law Office of Jonathan F. Marshall is an one of Hudson County NJ largest drug possession defense firm. Our office has over 100 years of combined experience on staff, including over twenty-five years of prior prosecuting experience. If you would like to discuss the drug court program with one of our attorneys, please contact our Jersey City office at (201) 309-1800.
Does Hudson County New Jersey Have Drug Court?
At its core, Drug Court aims to create a nexus between the criminal justice system and drug treatment professionals. By offering defendants an alternative to incarceration, Drug Courts provides a means of rehabilitation for drug users and addicts who have let these addictions infect their lives. Drug Court placement is reserved for Hudson County Superior Court matters involving non-violent drug related offenses. Prospective Drug Court enrollees will come under the Court’s supervision once they are formally sentenced into the program. Upon acceptance into Drug Court, the participant will begin an individually structured treatment program that will typically last between three (3) and five (5) years. The Drug Court is overseen by a Superior Court judge and employs judicial staff, administrators, probation officers and treatment professionals. Along with required court appearances and treatment services, an individual enrolled in Drug Court will be expected to demonstrate their continued commitment to recovery through frequent drug screening.
Am I Eligible for Drug Court in Hudson County?
Generally, Drug Courts target substance abusing, non-violent adult defendants who have undergone a legal review and clinical assessment by Drug Court team members. Persons excluded from participation in Drug Court include those who have previous convictions or pending charges for a violent offense. However, even if rejected due to a prior conviction for a violent offense, defense counsel can appeal that decision. In doing so, they will need to put forth enough compelling reasons as to why the defendant deserves the opportunity to participate into the program. In assessing the individual’s prospects of admission into Drug Court, the court will look at whether:
- The present offense was committed while the person was under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance, controlled substance analog or alcohol or was committed to acquire property or monies in order to support the person’s drug or alcohol dependency;
- Substance abuse treatment and monitoring will serve to benefit the person by addressing his drug or alcohol dependency and will thereby reduce the likelihood that the person will thereafter commit another offense; and
- The person possessed a firearm at the time of the present offense or possessed a firearm at the time of any pending criminal charge.
- Use of a firearm will likely carry additional charges that will bar you from admission into the Hudson County Drug Court
Hudson County NJ Drug Court Defense Attorneys
You should consult with an experienced attorney and determine whether or not Drug Court is an appropriate form of adjudication for you or your loved one. As stated above, the Law Office of Jonathan F. Marshall has over 100 years of combined experience on staff. Our office has been defending individual’s charged with cocaine possession, possession of heroin with the intent to distribute, and possession of Oxycontin in towns like Kearny, Harrison, West New York, Weehawken, Jersey City, Union City for over fifteen years.