Should you do Gadsden or Etowah County Alabama Drug Court?
To qualify for Gadsden, Etowah County, Drug Court, you must not have any prior felonies
I’m going to write this post assuming that this is the first time you have been arrested for a felony charge. To qualify for drug court, you must be a first time felony offender. Your charge must also have something to do with drugs or a substance abuse problem.
What is Gadsden Etowah County Drug Court?
Drug Courts are an alternative to the traditional criminal prosecution in a criminal court. Drug Court involves intensive treatment and drug education as an alternative to jail time, and is used to assist defendants in coping with their drug use, abuse and addiction. Here in Etowah County, Judge Nabors is the judge who presides over drug court. The goal of drug court is to keep the defendant as a contributing member of society rather than simply incarcerating the defendant and making them a burden on society due to the cost of incarceration. Drug Court in Etowah County requires you to sign up for random drug screenings with Community Corrections or CRO depending on your initial assessment. These screenings could be as often as three times a week or none in a week. They are completely random. Drug court also requires that you complete classes such as AA or NA.
You will be paying community corrections or CRO each month for your monitoring. In addition, before your case is dismissed, you will have to pay court costs on each case and also restitution to the DA’s office and the Etowah County drug task force.
If you attend and successfully complete a drug court program you will be able to preserve your freedom by staying out of jail, you will be drug-free, and your charges will be dismissed upon successful completion. Therefore, you will not have a criminal conviction on your record. In addition, because your charges are dismissed, after it. If time, you may apply for an expungement of the entire criminal record of your arrest and the criminal charges.
Is Gadsden, Etowah County drug court hard?
Make no mistake about it, drug court can be hard work. It is not an easy program, and requires serious effort on your part. You will be required to appear in court on a frequent basis for monitoring. You will also be required to take periodic drug tests. This will require you to report for drug test on a random basis, and often to call the drug court daily to determine whether you need to test on any particular day. You will be required to comply with the treatment program that the drug court supervisor designs for you. You’ll have to follow their directions in every way, and attended successfully any drug education are other classes required. More than anything, you will be required to remain drug-free. In addition you cannot pick up any new charges whatsoever. If you fail to comply with the drug court rules you could face a sanction. Sanctions can include termination from the drug court program, imposition of short jail stays, or incarceration for longer periods. In addition you could be required to undergo inpatient treatment for your drug problem if you fail to respond to more conservative methods of treatment.
I have attached a copy of the drug court forms for you to view here: Etowah County Drug Court Forms
These forms do a good job of explaining what the court will expect from you.
What if I choose not to do drug court?
If you choose not to do drug court, then later you could possibly have an opportunity for you to enter the pretrial intervention program after your case goes through grand jury. A lot of times though, you are stuck doing color code anyway with bond condition color code. So sometimes drug court at least lets you get credit for the color code you are already on.
Etowah County Pretrial Intervention Program
This program is similar to drug court but is done strictly through community corrections and the Circuit Court. You would still have random drug screens with community corrections but would not likely have to do the AA meetings or other classes. This program is more costly up front as you must pay $900 to the DA’s office. In addition, you will have a monitoring fee of $70 per month.
Your other options are trial and/or plea to a felony. If you are charged with a class C felony or Class D felony and do not have a prior felony, the guidelines would not likely recommend a jail sentence. More than likely you would just be sentenced to probation which is less strenuous than community corrections. If you do not behave on probation, however, there can also be sanctions that include jail time. However, you would have a felony on your record which has plenty of adverse consequences.
My website does a good job of explaining the process too if you want to check it out at http://danibone.com/PracticeAreas/drug-court.php
The website for Etowah County Community Corrections is http://etowahcorrections.com/3t0wah/. For more information regarding CRO visit http://danibone.com/PracticeAreas/court-referral.php