Monday, May 13, 2013

HELPING REPEAT DRUG POSSESSION OFFENDERS: THE COOK COUNTY DRUG COURT TREATMENT PROGRAM

You were sentenced to probation for possession of cocaine. One condition of your sentence was to provide urine drops for drug testing. But you dropped dirty, this time with heroin, and now you face charges of violating probation, as well as possible jail time.

What can happen to you? What can you do?

For starters, if found guilty, you can be resentenced on the original offense as well as on the violation. You should contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately to evaluate your options. (See our related post In Trouble Again: When You Have Violated Your Probation or Supervision.) Even if your options for fighting the violation are limited, however, you may be eligible for the Cook County Drug Court Treatment Program.

Enrollment in the Program is not automatic. It requires approval of the prosecutor and the judge. Your attorney can help you obtain the approval and negotiate the terms.

The Program is intended to help nonviolent felony drug possession offenders stay clean. If eligible, you could receive two years of probation instead of a trip to jail. You can only participate in the program if you admit you have a problem and show willingness to get treatment. Your offense cannot involve violence, and you may not have any convictions for violent crime within the last 10 years.

The Program’s requirements are rigorous and take place in four phases with different requirements for each phase. You must obtain treatment, submit to frequent urinalysis testing, participate in treatment, appear frequently in court and check in regularly with your probation officer. You may have to perform community service. Once successfully completed, you can participate in a graduation ceremony and your probation will be terminated as satisfactory. If you fail to complete the program, however, you can be penalized severely.

For more information on the program, see Drug Court Treatment Program.

If you have questions about this or another related criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email matt@mattkeenanlaw.com.

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

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