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Do all drug crime cases result in criminal proceedings?

When people think about drug crimes they expect that, if caught, criminal proceedings will undoubtedly follow. Fortunately, this is not always the case. For individuals accused in non-violent drug crime cases, their cases may be sent to a California Drug Court instead.

Drug courts are considered an alternative to criminal proceedings for some drug crimes. These courts focus on the rehabilitation of a person as opposed to simply handing down a punishment after a criminal conviction. These proceedings are a collaborative effort between the court, probation officers and substance-abuse treatment services. Combined, the overall focus is to reduce the number of individuals who would otherwise face incarceration for drug-related offenses.

If a drug case is sent to this type of court, individuals are monitored for a year or more, depending on their specific situation. The overall goals of drug court programs include reducing substance abuse and increasing the chance of successful rehabilitation. The collaborative programs have proven to be more effective at reducing the number of repeat offenders compared to the effects of incarceration. Intensive treatment services simply offer the right type of support that is desperately needed by many drug users.

Drug crimes at any level are taken serious in California, though it is understandable that incarceration is not the best course of action for each and every case. Those who are charged in non-violent drug crime cases, if any validity is found to the accusations at hand, may benefit from the services offered in drug court. A criminal defense team may be able to request this alternative treatment option and fight to avoid traditional criminal proceedings and punishments.

Source:, "Drug Courts", , Sept. 15, 2014

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Former Criminal Prosecutor With Proven Results