Drug Court FAQ
Many people facing drug court appearances following an arrest on drug charges may not know what to expect.
But New Hampshire’s state statues outline exactly what drug court is all about. Before heading to drug court, however, you need to make sure you have a criminal defense attorney, such as Michael Anzalone, by your side.
In fact, your lawyer will advise you not to speak to law enforcement about your case unless you have legal representation.
Here are some things you need to know about the state’s drug court program.
Q: What is drug court?
A: The drug court program is designed to help people who are not otherwise involved in criminal activity out of the judicial system and to provide them with the help they may need to get back on track.
Q: How does drug court work?
A: If someone is deemed suitable for the program, he or she will plead guilty to the offense they’ve been charged with and a judge will order probation. A condition of that probation is to have the person successfully complete the drug court program as well as any rehabilitation deemed necessary afterward.
Q: Who is considered an ideal candidate for drug ccourt?
A: The ideal candidate must have been diagnosed as having a substance abuse problem; must be 17 or older; must live in the jurisdiction of the court; could have a mental health disorder and must be a U.S. citizen. If someone has serious medical conditions, they may not be eligible to participate.
Q: Who advises makes up the drug court team?
A: There are representatives of many different agencies involved in the program. First, there’s the judge and the drug court coordinator, along with case managers and representatives from the treatment agency, the probation agency, the prosecutor’s office, the public defender’s office and law enforcement agencies. At some point, representatives from transitional housing or shelters may join the team. And doctors could also be part of the team.
Q: How is the substance abuser managed?
A: Before he or she enters the program, the case manager should make sure all expectations are clear. The person should read through and understand all drug court requirements and sign and date the handbook. Throughout the program, the case manager should remain in touch with the participant, monitoring the case, gathering reports from counselors at various rehab groups, doctors, agencies and probation officers. And the case manager should make sure the person is attending all meetings, and going to recovery centers as well as getting employment information. The case manager should also assist the client with housing issues, transportation and medical and dental help. Your attorney will also assist in this process.
Q: How long is the program?
A: The drug court program lasts between 18 and 24 months. Each participant is required to remain active in the program, attending all meetings and completing each phase required. They must remain sober and attend all rehabilitation and counseling sessions. These include recovery, formulating a long-term recovery plan, remain sober and devise a plan for after the program ends.
If have any further questions about New Hampshire’s drug court program, you can ask for a free consultation with criminal defense lawyer Michael Anzalone at The Anzalone Law Firm.