It can be overwhelming when you find out that you’re facing drug charges. The potential penalties tend to increase depending on the type of drug and the amount involved, and you may be justifiably worried about jail time.
You may be eligible, however, for participation in a drug court program. Shreveport has at least two of them, one for adults and another for juveniles.
What is a drug court?
Various Louisiana parishes created their drug court systems for defendants looking for help with their substance abuse addictions. Participants in these alternative sentencing programs can generally remain living with their families and keep their jobs so long as they continue to receive the substance abuse treatment that they so desperately need on the outside.
Most drug courts maintain strict eligibility criteria for participation in their program. They may require a defendant not to have any prior convictions on their record or at least none for violent offenses. Candidates for this alternative sentencing program must also demonstrate an aptitude to change.
How successful are drug courts at effectuating change?
This alternative sentencing program has grown in popularity in recent years.
Local governments have implemented such court systems as a way of freeing up judge’s dockets for more serious cases, helping alleviate overcrowding in their jails and getting drug abusers much-needed help in kicking their addictions. Government officials have also found drug courts to be an effective option for keeping defendants connected with their families and capable of supporting them.
How do you determine your eligibility for drug court?
While defendants charged with serious drug offenses such as trafficking here in Louisiana may not qualify for participation in this alternative sentencing program, many offenders facing possession ones will. An attorney can let you know whether this alternative sentencing program or other options are right for you in your Shreveport case.