A drug court in New Jersey functions as a hybrid between a regular court
and a venue for rehabilitation. The court works with rehabilitation service
providers, probation officers and attorneys to provide a path to recovery
for those who have been charged with nonviolent drug offenses. There may
be sanctions for failing to comply with the terms and goals for recovery
set by the court.
Those who are unable to keep up with their treatment program may be removed
from the program, which may result in their criminal charges being reinstated.
Court staff have access to regular training and ongoing education on a
state and federal level to increase the odds that the program best fits
the needs of those going through the program. The drug court program is
regularly monitored by the state, and improvements to the program may
be made at any time if they are warranted.
The drug court started in 1996 with a pilot program in Camden and Essex
Superior Courts. In 2000, drug courts were labeled a best practice in
the state and plans were made to expand the program statewide. In April
2002, five more drug courts were established, and in September 2004, the
program was expanded to the five remaining court vicinages.
Those who have been charged with possessing, using or planning to sell
marijuana or other drugs may wish to hire a criminal defense attorney. An attorney
may be able to come to a plea agreement in the case, which may allow an
individual to avoid penalties such as jail time or a fine in favor of
probation or a suspended sentence. It may also be possible to win an acquittal
by disputing witness accounts in court or by disputing physical evidence
at the scene that led to an individual being taken into custody.
Source: New Jersey Courts, "Drug Courts", December 08, 2014