There are some people who get arrested for drug offenses in Virginia when all they want is to experiment or have an unusually exciting weekend. Still, many of the people who end up arrested for state drug offenses are frequent users of the same substance, often because they struggle with chemical dependence.
It can be difficult to admit to yourself that addiction has taken control of your life and even harder to do something about it. A recent arrest for a nonviolent drug offense could potentially be the wake-up call you need to regain control over your life.
Of course, having a drug charge on your record and possibly spending time in jail won’t help you achieve sobriety or move on with your life. Thankfully, the Virginia criminal justice system has a special program for those who break the law because of an addiction-related issue.
Virginia’s adult drug courts offer treatment, not punishment
Criminalizing drug use has not deterred people from possessing and consuming prohibited or controlled substances. If anything, the criminal consequences and social stigma that stem from prohibition policies help reinforce the cycle of substance abuse.
The adult drug treatment courts seek to break that cycle. Those who qualify for drug court proceedings will have far more involvement with the courts. They will need to attend frequent hearings and meetings. Drug court usually requires frequent counseling sessions or rehabilitation services. Additionally, there will be drug testing performed randomly to ensure someone has not resumed using any illegal substances.
Although it often takes over a year to complete drug court, doing so can be incredibly beneficial.
How drug court helps
If you successfully complete the drug court process, you will derive three primary benefits. The first is the treatment that the courts will require you to undergo. You will have an opportunity to identify the root cause of your substance abuse and learn how to overcome your own worst impulses.
The second is that you eliminate criminal penalties. You won’t face incarceration or large fines when you go through the drug courts instead of the criminal courts. Finally, you avoid a criminal record. Successful completion of drug court proceedings will eliminate the risk of a permanent criminal record that marks you as a drug user.
Understanding how the Virginia drug courts work can help those hoping to fight back against upcoming drug charges.