Texas, like most other states, has a big drug problem. There simply are a lot of people who either use or supply them. Drug crimes are not treated lightly in court; however, lawmakers also are aware that jail is not appropriate in every drug crime case. This is where drug courts come in.

Drug court, what’s that? Instead of being prosecuted for a drug crime, certain offenders can have their cases moved to drug court. This is a court supervised treatment program. It is only available to drug users who are considered non-violent offenders. Those accused of distributing or manufacturing will not qualify for this option.

If a case is moved to drug court, the accused will be required to attend counseling — either in private or group sessions — and submit to weekly drug testing. The program lasts anywhere from 12 to 18 months. Failure to complete the program in its entirety will result in one’s case being moved back to criminal court for prosecution.

Drug courts help keep non-violent offenders out of jail and gets them the help that they really need to overcome their addictions. It is not right for everyone, but it certainly has its place and is a good option in some drug crimes cases. Those who believe that they qualify for this program and are willing to put in the amount of work necessary can speak to their criminal defense attorneys about pursing this option. If it is deemed appropriate, a formal request to have one’s case moved to drug court can be submitted in a Texas criminal court.

Source: tdcj.state.tx.us, “Texas Drug Courts“, Accessed on Sept. 29, 2017