Who Is Eligible and Steps for Placement

Who Is Eligible

Drug Court is designed to provide appropriate treatment for eligible defendants assessed to need substance addiction treatment. Most defendants charged with misdemeanors and many charged with non-violent felonies are eligible for Drug Court. 

The following exclusion criteria generally apply unless specifically allowed by the USAO and Drug Court judge. A defendant must:

  • Not be currently charged with a violent misdemeanor or violent felony (simple assaults may be allowed);
  • Have no more than one additional pending, non-violent criminal case;
  • Have no prior convictions for a violent or weapons offense for which the defendant was serving a sentence or on probation, parole or supervised release within the last 10 years;
  • Not be charged with or have a pending charge that involves a victim;
  • Have no prior convictions for a victim-involved crime for which the defendant was serving a sentence or on probation, parole, or supervised release within the last 10 years.

In addition, the following eligibility criteria apply only to felony amended sentencing agreements. A defendant must:

  • Have no prior violent convictions in any court;
  • Within the last 10 years, have no more than two misdemeanor convictions;
  • Have no prior misdemeanor convictions for PWID or Distribution of Marijuana;
  • Have a current charge that is not PCP-related; and
  • Have no other pending felony cases and no more than one pending misdemeanor case.

Certain other criteria may apply to defendants being considered for the misdemeanor diversion or felony amended sentencing agreements. Contact Drug Court for details.

Steps for Placement

  • PSA screening for Drug Court eligibility;
  • Substance abuse assessment must indicate need for intensive outpatient or residential treatment;
  • Certification to Drug Court  from another criminal calendar;
  • USAO approval required for misdemeanor diversion and felony amended sentencing agreements; and to place defendants with criminal charges or histories who would normally be excluded.