CAN YOU GET INTO THE DRUG COURT ?
Written by Jessie Hughes and Erin Byrt of Papa Hughes Lawyers
Do you want to get into the Drug Court? Call us now for help.
After years of successful operation in Dandenong, this year the Drug Court was finally expanded and is now running at the Melbourne Magistrates' Court.
The introduction of the Drug Court is illustrative of a slow creep of intelligent and creative sentencing options. It is an example of one way that the Justice system is finally embracing the widely held opinion that drug use is a health problem and that terms of impriosnment often do the community more harm than good.
An evaluation undertaken by KPMG of the Drug Court in Dandenong, published in 2014 found those tracked through the drug court were 31 per cent less likely to reoffend within 12 months of completing their drug court order than those who were sentenced in the mainstream court, and 34 per cent less likely to reoffend within a 2 year period.
The same study found the cost of a Drug Treatment Order appproximately $26 000.00 per particpant over two years, compared, for example, to a two year term of imprisonment which would cost the commuity just under $200 000.00 per inmate.
HOW DO I GET INTO DRUG COURT?
We can help you decide if you should apply for Drug Court. Call us now to get into Drug Court.
So, how do you get into Drug Court? The main criteria for participation are:
1. The offending must be drug related- this could mean that you are charged with dishonesty offences committed to support your habit, trafficking, possession and use of drugs charges, some violent offences which are clearly attributed to your use of drugs (however, note that violent offences which result in actual injury are excluded from the Drug Court unless the injury is of a minor nature) or other offences which are related to your addiction to drugs;
2. You must be looking at a term of imprisonment;
3. You must be pleading guilty to the offences- your cases can be negotiated before making an application for them to be heard in the drug court;
4. You must have a connection to one of the catchment suburbs.
You cannot access the Drug Court if you are on parole, or subject to a County Court or Supreme Court sentence.
Call Papa Hughes Lawyers today to see if your case is eligible for the Drug Court.