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Drug Court in New Jersey | What to Know

In New Jersey, there are different types of courts. For example, a teenager who commits a crime may go to juvenile court. In the same vein, a person who struggles with drugs may find themselves in a drug court. Read on for more information regarding drug courts in New Jersey, what it entails, and whether you are eligible.

What is Drug Court?

Drug court is a special program for people who have a drug addiction and commit crimes.

How do I Know if I am Eligible?

Non-violent offenders who have a moderate to severe substance use disorder are eligible. If you are wondering whether you are eligible to participate in a drug court program, you should speak with your criminal defense attorney. Your attorney should be able to tell you more about your eligibility and help you begin the process. If your attorney deems you eligible, a substance abuse evaluator will do an assessment to decide clinical eligibility, and the prosecutor will evaluate criminal history for legal eligibility.

You will have to meet the following requirements:

  • must benefit from treatment for drug or alcohol dependency
  • must have been dependent when the offense was committed
  • Must have been under the influence of committing the crime to support the dependency
  • Did not have a firearm in their possession during this crime or during any other crime
  • Must not be a danger to the community
  • Has not been convicted more than once of a crime
  • Has not been previously convicted or charged with a violent crime

What are the Requirements of Drug Court?

Drug court involves a program that is designed to help offenders with drug addiction. The program will involve things like:

  • Attending treatment
    • There are different types of treatment. For example, a participant can go to detox, outpatient treatment, or residential treatment. The level of treatment is based on the participant’s clinical needs for recovery. Drug testing is involved.
  • At the beginning of the program, participants will be ordered to attend court weekly. As the participant moves through the program, he or she will be able to attend court less often.
  • Participants are required to attend self-help meetings. For example, participants may become involved in alcoholics anonymous (AA) or narcotics anonymous (NA).
  • The drug court team will work with each participant to obtain and maintain employment, education, or both.
  • Many participants have their driver’s license returned or get a driver’s license for the first time when they enter the program.

If you or a loved one is facing a drug-related charge in New Jersey, contact our firm right away. We are here to advocate for you and explore all legal possibilities. Contact us to speak with a dedicated criminal defense attorney about your situation.


Kevin T. Conway is an experienced Bergen County criminal attorney handling DUI, DWI, traffic violations, violent crimes, sex crimes, illegal gun possession, shoplifting, and juvenile crimes. Attorney Conway is also experienced in commercial law matters, zoning law, and estate planning. If you need an aggressive criminal lawyer, contact The Law Office of Kevin T. Conway for a free consultation.

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