What is the Pennsylvania Drug Court?
An Alternative-to-Jail Program in Pennsylvania and Allegheny County for Drug Offenders
Pennsylvania Drug Court is a drug diversionary program that can help drug offenders keep their record clean and out of prison.
Admittance to Drug Court is extremely limited and if accepted, is a major commitment. Every county in Pennsylvania has different stipulations and procedures. Pennsylvania Drug Court in Allegheny County was set up in order to rehabilitate drug dealers—more specifically, those who sell drugs to support their own drug habit.
The program applies to defendants who have been charged with non-violent felony drug possession or Possession with Intent to Deliver (PWID).
Although the program is extensive, it is an alternative to jail and can help people continue with their lives, instead of being locked away.
In addition, once successfully completed, the defendant will receive a full dismissal of drug charges and have their criminal record wiped clean through an expungement process.
Our Pittsburgh Drug Lawyers have extensive experience in helping drug offenders get accepted into this program. Call us for a free consultation to discuss your case.
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The Allegheny Drug Court Program Process
This program has been rehabilitating drug offenders since 1998. Everyone involved in the Drug Court program expends a lot of time and effort in the rehabilitation process, so it is taken very seriously.
A team of persons will be assembled to help the defendant complete the requirements. Usually, the group of supervisors will be led by a judge and include the prosecutor, defense attorney, a treatment provider, a probation officer, and a court coordinator.
Law enforcement personnel may also be part of the group. The goal is to have everyone working together to provide supervision, give support and monitor the recovery process.
Eligibility into the Allegheny County Drug Court Program
To gain entrance into the program, you typically need a strong drug defense attorney to apply on your behalf.
The District Attorney’s Office will likely make the initial offer at pre-trial if the defendant qualifies. From there, candidates are screened by Adult Probation for eligibility of Intermediate Punishment and must be level 3 or 4 offenders. Should you accept, you will be required to plead guilty to all charges.
People convicted of another crime in the past 10 years and those with pending violent crime charges are not eligible.
After acceptance, you will then be interviewed by a drug court case manager, as well as partake in a drug/alcohol evaluation. At such time, a Service Plan is developed for the client that identifies the level of care required, and specific treatment facility recommendations.
Requirements of the Allegheny County Drug Court Program
Once you have been accepted into the Drug Court program, you will be given a number of requirements to fulfill. Some of the requirements include:
- Entrance into a drug treatment program. Typically, a residential treatment facility is recommended and you will be required to enter the facility the day after you take the plea. Occasionally outpatient care is offered as an alternative to those who qualify.
- Placed on electronic monitoring for the duration of your sentence if you are receiving outpatient care. If you are required to enter a treatment facility, you will be placed on electronic monitoring once you leave the treatment facility for the remainder of your sentence.
- Attend regular meetings with a drug court case worker and your probation officer.
- Pay any court costs and/or restitution the court has ordered you to pay.
- Prove sobriety by passing regular drug and alcohol testing.
Successful completion of the Probation Without Verdict (PWOV) program will result in a full dismissal of your charge(s) and expungement of your criminal record. Learn more about the treatment program at the website for the Allegheny County Drug Court Program.
OUR NUMBER ONE GOAL: GETTING YOUR DRUG CHARGES DISMISSED.
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How Ketchel Law Can Help
At Ketchel Law, our number one goal is to have your case dismissed and charges withdrawn. If that is not possible, there are numerous ways of attempting a reduction in sentencing such as probation vs. jail.
Our Pittsburgh Drug Lawyers fight for a reduced sentence or charges to be dismissed completely.
We are skillful attorneys and know how to negotiate with the best interest of our clients in mind. We work with you to find optimal solutions and the best way for you to retain your freedom.
If you were charged with a drug crime, call an experienced drug crime attorney for a free consultation.
We successfully handle cases involving:
- First Time Drug Offenses in PA
- Simple Possession of Drugs
- Possession with Intent to Deliver (PWID Drugs)
- Marijuana Charges
- Heroin Charges
- Ecstasy, Meth & PCP Charges
- Synthetic Drugs / Designer Drugs
Learn More About Drug Charges in Pennsylvania:
- Drug Diversion Programs and Alternatives to Jail
- Probation without Verdict (PWOV – Section 17)
- Pennsylvania ARD Program
- Drug Conviction Penalties
- Fighting Drug Charges