Drug crimes are among the most common criminal offenses in Arkansas, they are also some of the most serious. The state imposes harsh penalties on those convicted of drug-related offenses. People can also potentially lose their jobs and their professional licensing over such accusations.
Most people accused of drug-related crimes in Arkansas will wind up in criminal court, where they could potentially face penalties ranging from probation and fines to jail time. However, for some individuals facing serious drug charges, there may be an alternative venue available for their case.
The adult drug treatment courts can help those struggling with addiction
Addiction often starts with medical issues or a few simple mistakes. Individuals who have historically been upstanding citizens can make very questionable and outright dangerous decisions when coping with chemical dependence.
Locking people up often only exacerbates the problems that lead to substance abuse. The criminalization of addiction has done very little to reduce crime rates, so Arkansas has begun to employ an alternate approach in some cases. Those accused of certain criminal offenses and with adequate documentation of an existing substance abuse issue can potentially seek adjudication in the adult drug treatment courts instead of in the criminal court.
How the drug courts work
Unlike criminal court, which focuses on establishing that someone is guilty of violating the law and penalizing them accordingly, drug treatment courts seek to address the underlying addiction that led to the criminal activity.
The courts will typically order drug treatment and require individuals to attend frequent sessions with court officials and submit to randomized drug screening efforts. Although it can take several years to complete drug court proceedings in some cases, those who qualify for hearings in drug court can benefit massively from making use of this alternative to criminal court.
If you successfully complete the requirements established by the court, you can move on without a criminal conviction on your record and also avoid all of the standard criminal penalties associated with the charges against you. Although the drug courts do require commitment to the process and a recognition of the substance abuse issue that has led to your charges, it can be a very valuable option for those who don’t want one mistake to limit their opportunities for the rest of their lives.
Exploring all of the options available to you when facing drug charges can help you choose the best defense strategy given your situation.