What Is Drug Court in Oklahoma?
Oklahoma counties have drug court programs that the courts use as an alternative to traditional criminal court. The programs establish treatment requirements instead of jail time and probation for drug offenders.
Who Can Go to Drug Court?
Certain people who plead guilty or are found guilty of non-violent drug-related felonies may attend drug court by applying to a county program. Defendants must agree to participate in drug court instead of traditional sentencing. Offenders who successfully complete the drug court program will not serve jail time. Drug court is not like a criminal court that evaluates evidence and hears cases. In drug court, the focus is on treatment for offenders rather than determining whether defendants should be imprisoned.
What Happens at Drug Court?
Drug court programs integrate drug treatment, rehabilitation services, testing to encourage abstinence, and ongoing judicial intervention by a special drug court judge to keep defendants on track. The drug courts partner with public agencies and community programs to provide services to defendants in need. In Oklahoma County, drug court may include individual and group counseling and self-help meetings. Some defendants must find employment and get a GED as part of the program.
When defendants first enter drug court, they will receive some kind of evaluation to determine which services they need and which requirements they need to meet. They may take an ADSAC assessment. After the drug court coordinators set up treatment plans, they will help defendants stay on track by monitoring their progress toward completion. Defendant have to appear before the drug court judge regularly.
Can DUI Offenders Go to Drug Court?
Many drug courts include treatment for alcohol abuse as well as drugs. Oklahoma County refers to its program as DUI/Drug Court because it often helps people who have committed DUIs, along with those convicted of drug offenses. For some, alcohol and drug problems go hand in hand, so getting integrated treatment for both can be a great help. Statistics show that people who complete drug court programs have lower rates of recidivism (committing more criminal offenses).
73 of 77 counties in Oklahoma have drug courts. The programs decrease rates of incarceration – they keep people out of jail. As a result, the counties save money overall and the defendants avoid imprisonment.
If you are facing DUI or drug charges, seek out an attorney who knows the Oklahoma criminal law system inside and out. Clint Patterson, Esq., of Patterson Law Firm, a former Tulsa prosecutor now using his trial experience and expert-level knowledge of DUI science to defend drivers, has the experience and the insight to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your case. To schedule a case evaluation, visit Patterson Law Firm online or call Clint’s office at (918) 550-9175.