A California drug offense has the potential to upend many areas of your life. Depending on circumstances, you may have to pay major fines, perform community service and even spend time in jail or prison, among other possible repercussions. However, in some instances, you may have the option of enrolling in a San Joaquin County drug court, rather than spending time behind bars.
According to the San Joaquin County Bar Association, the county currently operates a number of collaborative courts that work toward helping you contribute to society, rather than enter, exit and then reenter the legal system. There are several different types of collaborative courts that serve drug offenders. Many of them also have different tracks. The right court and track for you might depend on the circumstances surrounding your criminal charge and your substance abuse history, among other variables.
How drug court works
When you gain entry into drug court in San Joaquin County, plan on having to make regular appearances before the court. Plan, also, to have to take regular drug tests, attend substance abuse classes and otherwise uphold all program compliance requirements.
How to know if you are eligible
You must undergo a professional screening to help determine if you are a strong candidate for drug court. Most applicants face either a misdemeanor or felony drug charges. Inclusion in the program is not automatic. However, you may be able to enter a county drug court program if the professionals who conduct your screening believe you are at high risk for reoffending.
Ultimately, whether you are able to enter into a drug court program is at the discretion of the judge, district attorney and your own defense attorney.