A conviction for drug possession can be punishable by a lengthy jail sentence, expensive fines, and a permanent mark on your criminal record. Having a drug charge follow you for the rest of your life can make gaining employment, finding a place to live, and applying for college extremely difficult.
However, Massachusetts courts understand that many individuals charged with drug possession are dealing with substance abuse. Criminally punishing those battling addiction will do more harm than good, which is why drug courts—also known as pre-trial diversion—are available throughout the state to address such deeper issues.
Drug courts provide supervised probation, mandatory substance abuse treatment, counseling, educational and vocational programs, random drug testing, and more. The court works together with treatment providers to help defendants get the treatment necessary for recovery.
The following are the eligibility requirements for Massachusetts drug courts:
- Diversion is available for all ages
- The crime in question isn’t a sex crime or violent crime
- The defendant hasn’t been convicted of a criminal offense since becoming 18 years old
- The defendant doesn’t have any outstanding warrants or pending criminal cases
- The defendant faces imprisonment
- The defendant will benefit from the program
The defendant’s lawyer must request for pre-trial diversion prior to arraignment. Completion of the drug court program will lead to the dismissal of criminal charges and expungement of the criminal record.
Massachusetts has 25 adult drug courts. Four of them are located in Boston.
For more information about drug courts in Boston, contact Brad Bailey Law today at (617) 500-0252 and schedule a free case review.