How Drug Courts Work

There is now a new Drug Court which gives someone who has not committed a violent offence an opportunity to amend their record for drug charges.

It’s for all kinds of charges where drugs are involved, including whether an addiction or an involvement in drugs led them to criminal behaviour. An example might be a drug addict who committed a break and enter to get money to feed his drug habit.

Drug Courts essentially monitor the individual and determine whether or not they have been successful in staying away from their drugs. The manner in which this is carried out is very interesting because in court you will often have the body of the court applaud an individual because they have been able to stay clean for 30, 60, or 90 days. The courts are trying to encourage people to stay away from drugs, because if you stay away from drugs you will stay away from criminal behavior.

There are several steps that an individual has to follow in drug court. He has to plead guilty, follow a program of treatment and counseling, and prove to the judge that he will do his best to stay away from his drug problem. The important break that the person gets is to stay out of jail.

If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with criminal law issues in the Ottawa, Ontario Region, contact Engel and Associates for a consultation.

This article is taken from a November 12, 2007 interview with Bruce Engel, Criminal Lawyer with Engel and Associates, an Ottawa, Ontario Criminal Law Firm. Note that laws vary from province to province. Please consult with a lawyer in your own area to be sure of the laws and specific issues in your own jurisdiction.