Trial courts throughout Georgia are beginning to recognize that treatment and rehabilitation
is far more appropriate than jail or prison in helping people deal with a drug problem. If you have been arrested for a drug-related
offense, there are different treatment options, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Depending on the circumstances
of the case, alternatives to jail, prison sentences, or convictions, can include Diversion, Drug Court, First Offender, Work
Release, and Conditional Discharge. Each of these choices has different requirements for successful completion and the accused
may be eligible for one or more of these alternatives. These alternatives almost always require drug counseling and random
screens, and sometimes include several months of residential rehabilitation treatment, community service, fines or fees, and
letters of recommendation. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney who cares about your personal situation will be able
to help you determine what alternaves are available and which option is best.
A drug court is a special court given the responsibility of handling cases involving drug abusers through a demanding
and extensive supervision and treatment program. Many Georgia counties have not yet instituted a drug court program. The specifics
of the programs that do exist will vary from county to county. However each program will typically be separated into phases,
where the participant will earn more freedoms with the passage of time and successful completion of the preceding phase. Sometimes
a period of incarceration is required. Also if a participant violates a drug court rule, say by having a positive drug screen
(illegal drugs or alcohol in body), that participant could be punished by a few days in jail, being held back a stage in the
program, or being expelled from the program. However, in some counties and situations, when the participant successfully completes
the program, the case will be dismissed. Thus, there are pros and cons to sentencing alternatives and to drug court. In fact,
some of these alternatives can be quite difficult and result in high drop out rates. If you or someone you care about has
a drug case, please contact the Law Offices of Bert W. Cohen for a no cost, no obligation, confidential consultation.
The Law Offices of Bert W. Cohen 321 Lawrence Street Marietta, Georgia 30060 In Metro Atlanta: (770)422-5101.