Criminal offenses involving drugs often result from addiction. They also frequently involve only a technical violation of the law, rather than intentional harm inflicted on another person. Whether you developed a chemical dependence on opioid painkillers after a car crash or made the mistake of trying the wrong thing at a party once, chemical dependence can drastically alter your life if you get caught.
As an adult and a professional, you may try to juggle your addiction with your other obligations. Unfortunately, having many balls in the air means inevitably you will drop one. If you wind up getting arrested while buying prescription pills from a co-worker or while in possession of a banned substance, the state of Texas will almost certainly charge you with a drug offense.
A conviction or guilty plea could end your career or otherwise damage your future. Thankfully, those with addiction-related criminal issues could qualify for pretrial diversion through the Texas drug courts.
How does pretrial diversion work?
Some people’s criminal offenses don’t actively cause harm to others but only themselves. Many drug offenses fall into this category. Abusing opioid painkillers won’t necessarily cause direct harm to the greater community, but it is doing harm to you. Rather than punishing people with an addiction, the drug courts aim to help them solve their issues.
Those who qualify for drug court proceedings could avoid criminal court altogether. Rather than facing incarceration and other criminal consequences, those accepted into pre-trial diversion programs have an opportunity to fix their lives. Following the program’s requirements, which will typically include mandatory rehabilitation services, could mean that you avoid a conviction.
At the end of the process, you will not have a criminal record. In theory, pretrial diversion through the drug courts sets people up to fix their lives and move on from addiction instead of just punishing them for it.
Qualifying for adjudication in the drug courts requires effort
You will have to take certain steps to have your case heard in the drug courts instead of the standard criminal courts. Assistance with seeking pretrial diversion and following through with its requirements can help you avoid making mistakes that could land you back in criminal court.
Anyone worried about how a drug charge could affect their future should look at all of their options, including whether drug court is an alternative.