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How to Qualify for Drug Court

February 14, 2022 | Posted In Criminal Law |

As the disease of addiction continues to grip many throughout the country, criminal court systems have had to adjust and consider alternative processes for afflicted criminal defendants. As drug overdoses and deaths have tragically continued to increase in number nearly every year, courts have begun to consider different approaches to treating alcohol, drug and alcohol or drug-related crimes. One system that has experienced great popularity and success is the New Jersey Drug Court system. However, not just anyone can obtain a spot in these selective programs. There is a strict and procedural process to move one’s criminal case into drug court.

Each New Jersey drug lawyer at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman has the knowledge and skills to ensure that your alcohol, drug or alcohol or drug-related criminal case is treated fairly in criminal court. If you wish to move your case into the Drug Court system, we will advocate for you and keep you fully informed of your knowledge and case status from start to finish.

Be Open to Participating in a Rehabilitation Program

The ultimate goal of drug court is to provide a treatment-based and recovery-focused alternative to traditional criminal sentencing methods such as jail time and probation. Because of this, participation in a substance abuse rehabilitation program is a core component of New Jersey’s drug court system. Participation is taken very seriously, and you will be held to a high standard. Regular alcohol and drug testing will take place, and you will have to attend rehabilitation treatment program sessions multiple times per week. Attendance is absolutely mandatory. 

Violating terms of your drug court program and your corresponding rehabilitation program could result in being removed from the drug court system. and in receiving the alternative sentence which usually includes a term of years at State Prison. On the other hand, successful completion of Drug Court may result in the expungement of your entire criminal record.

Work With a New Jersey Drug Lawyer to Request Drug Court

After deciding that you wish to participate in New Jersey’s drug court system, you will have to request to be transferred into it. Admission into the system is not an automatic or clear-cut process. Each candidate for drug court will be evaluated on an individual basis for the likelihood of success in the program and will consider whether the nature of their crime and addiction history is a fit for the program offered.

Below are examples of criteria that are considered for admitting a defendant into drug court:

  • Whether the defendant has a significant criminal history
  • Whether the crime was violent or non-violent
  • The defendant’s recognition of their addiction disorder and desire to change
  • Whether the crime is barred from drug court participation

Learn About Drug Court From a New Jersey Drug Lawyer 

Being accepted into and participating successfully in New Jersey’s Drug Court program can be the difference between freedom and incarceration and having a felony or misdemeanor on your record or having a clean record. However, Drug Court may not be the right choice or option for you. 

When making the major decision of whether or not you will apply to be part of the program, a New Jersey drug lawyer will be able to provide an objective, informed, and insightful perspective of your case. To learn more, contact us now to set up an introductory meeting with a member of our New Jersey drug lawyer team.


Over 20 attorneys at HCK have extensive experience in defending drug cases as they were former assistant prosecutors and/or police officers for a combined total of over 600 years of law enforcement experience. You can find out more about them on our site, and you can call Managing Partner Ron Helmer on his cell phone at 609 685-0665.

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Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A.

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