Can rehab be court-ordered? Yes, this happens on a regular basis. Most states have laws allowing and encouraging drug treatment in lieu of jail. However, these programs remain somewhat controversial because they more or less force the person into treatment whether they want it or not. Given the stark choice of treatment or jail, few would choose jail.
Often called Drug Court, these programs are very strict and are not in any way a get out of jail free card. You’re allowed to remain out in the community, but your movements are monitored. You will get frequent and random drug tests. If you fail one, most courts will give you another chance, but the general rule is, that three minor violations will result in a return to custody. Just one major violation, such as being arrested again for another crime, will typically result in the revocation of your drug court program.
Drug court is a type of probation. This is typically closely supervised probation where you will have a probation officer you must report to on a regular basis. You may be summoned to appear with no warning and with no reason. Drug tests will likely be directly observed by a law enforcement officer of your same-sex to be sure you’re not tampering with the sample in any way. It’s a major invasion of your privacy, but you will have to cooperate.
Court-Ordered Drug Rehab
A court can also mandate you to either attend a residential drug program or serve the sentence your crime carries. Sometimes, courts will allow outpatient rehab, but this is up to the judge. The court may want you to be confined for a while in a drug-free environment where you won’t be running amok, using drugs, possibly selling them as well, and perhaps committing new crimes.
You must qualify for drug court or court-ordered rehab. It will not be available to everyone. Generally, violent crimes will disqualify you. So will sex crimes and certain non-violent but still serious felonies. If the state has a three-strike law, typically any strike offense will also not qualify for court-ordered drug treatment. Drug possession for personal use and under the influence charges are usually allowed. However, possession of drugs for sale, trafficking, or cultivation is not allowed.
The court is trying to work with drug users to get them to stop. Their programs are not intended for those who sell drugs. Many dealers just sell their product and don’t personally use it. They don’t have a drug problem, so the court isn’t going to waste resources by letting them do rehab. Dealers will usually have to do jail time unless they get really lucky or have a fantastic attorney and get away with probation on a first or second offense.
Waiting for a Bed in Rehab
Once the court has agreed to suspend your sentence and allow you to attend a drug rehab instead, you will typically have to wait for a bed space in jail. As soon as one is open, you will be transferred there. If you have the resources to pay for rehab yourself and the court approves of that program, your wait in jail will be much shorter.
However, if you’re an opioid abuser, you may begin to get help while you wait. Many jails are now offering Suboxone therapy and substance abuse classes to inmates with OUD or opioid use disorder.
Consequences of a Failed Drug Rehab
If you’re assigned to attend outpatient drug rehab and fail to follow the program, the rehab will have to report you to your probation officer and the court. You won’t leave them much choice. They will probably try to work with you first, but if you just refuse to participate, you’ll be on your way back to jail.
Understand that if the court revokes your drug rehab, you will once again face your original charges. You’ll also be appearing in front of the same judge who already gave you a chance. Your sentence was already handed down. It was only suspended; it didn’t go away. It really behooves you to complete the court-ordered rehab because if you do, your charges will be dropped.
For More Information
If you’d like to know more about court-ordered rehab, call us anytime at 833-610-1174. These programs are great alternatives to jail and maybe life-changing. We’re here 24 hours a day, and we look forward to your call.