Can a New Jersey drug rehab help me avoid jail time? If your substance abuse problem has led to your arrest and involvement with the New Jersey court and correctional system, you may have asked yourself that very question. The short answer is maybe. The long answer is far more complicated and comprehensive than that. You’re also probably wondering what your options are. What is New Jersey Drug Court? What is drug diversion in general? Do you qualify? You’re probably also very frightened by the thought of jail. These questions and fears are universal and totally normal. They are also avoidable by preventing an arrest in the first place, but at this point you have moved beyond that.
The problem with allowing a drug problem to develop and go untreated to the point of an encounter with law enforcement and your arrest is that you have now lost most of the options previously available to you. Had you voluntarily attended a substance abuse program, you may very likely have been able to avoid an arrest altogether. Once you’re arrested, you’re forced to deal with the court system.
Drug Court in New Jersey
Most states have some type of drug diversion, including New Jersey’s Drug Court. This is a program offered by the court in lieu of jail time to a select group of defendants who have been convicted of certain non-violent crimes as a result of substance abuse. The crime doesn’t necessarily have to be an actual drug charge. It just has to be caused by substance abuse. For example, if it’s a theft charge that was only committed to get money to purchase drugs.
New Jersey law makes a special provision to help those addicted to drugs by referring them to treatment programs rather than jail and prison. This provision applies only to drug users, not higher-echelon drug traffickers, sellers, manufacturers and cultivators. Most drug sales charges will disqualify you from a court drug diversion program. The court wants to help drug users stop their substance abuse, so they will not commit any more crimes. It sees these people as addicted victims of greedy drug kingpins and dealers. The court is not concerned with helping drug sellers, so they will not qualify for diversion programs and will have to face their charges the best they can. In fact, anyone charged with the following will not qualify for New Jersey drug diversion:
- Any first-degree or violent second-degree offense
- Any charge carrying a mandatory prison sentence
- Any kind of drug sales or conspiracy for sales charge committed proximate to a school
New Jersey Drug Court
This is a type of probation. To qualify, you must submit to a thorough investigation by a court probation referral officer. Your arrest history and your financial situation will all be reviewed. If you cannot afford to pay for treatment, it may be furnished to you free of charge. You will be required to follow all terms of your probation. You will be subject to mandatory, random, regular drug testing. This kind of testing usually involves a notice period of 24 hours or less. Once notified, you must present yourself for drug testing within the time period given to you. If you don’t, or if you refuse to test, it’s an automatic violation of your probation and you can be returned to custody immediately. Once you have violated the terms of your probation, you automatically face your original charge and jail or prison time. The court will determine if it wants to give you another chance or not. If it doesn’t, you will be subject to whatever punishment your charge carries.
Probation is not a get-out-of-jail-free card. It’s a chance to avoid jail time and keep your job and family relationships intact, but just one small mistake can land you right back behind bars again. Probation very often lasts far longer than any jail term would have. On the other hand, successful probation completion usually means that the court will strike your charges and dismiss them. This means you will not have a criminal record.
Avoid Jail Time
Yes, New Jersey drug rehab can help you avoid jail time. However, you must be committed and very motivated to complete both the drug rehab and the probation. It’s an excellent opportunity to avoid a permanent arrest record and get life-changing help for your substance abuse problem. An arrest is a wake-up call. Ignore it at your own risk.
We Can Help
You can call us here at 833-610-1174 anytime for help with choosing the right drug rehab for you. If you’ve been court-ordered to attend rehab, we can help. We have the experience and the resources to find the best drug rehab facility for your needs.