/Probation for Alcohol and Drug Addiction
Alcohol and Drug Addiction

Probation for Alcohol and Drug Addiction


Probation is considered a good opportunity, i.e., a second chance for offenders to sort out their life. This can be particularly life-changing for someone suffering from alcohol or drug addiction. In the case of a substance abuse case, the court can be lenient if the defendant shows a willingness to go through rehabilitation and get help for treatment while the defense lawyer argues the case smartly. An experienced defense lawyer can get a very likely prison sentence turned into a probation order with mandatory treatment for a defendant with addiction.

Drug courts are special programs designed by the state to provide drug addicts with treatment as an alternative to imprisonment. The court is held within a standard criminal court and deals with cases of non-violent drug abusers. Defendants convicted of possession and use of controlled substances can be sentenced to probation if the defendant agrees to meet the following conditions.

  • Commits to treatment and counseling
  • Abides by the rules set by the drug court program
  • Faces frequent and random drug testing
  • Commits to regular court appearances and supervision by the probation officer

Though the offenders are forced to deal with their drug abuse problems, they’re also afforded the support and encouragement necessary for the successful addiction rehabilitation process.

Upon successful completion of the program, drug addicts are considered to have graduated from the court. If he enters the drug court before the commencement of a trial, all the charges are dropped. If he enters the court after pleading guilty, the sentence can be removed or eliminated.

Probation for drug and alcohol addicts is similar to regular probation except for two special conditions that are not common for other offenders. First, the probationer must register for specialized rehab treatment to get rid of addiction. It’s mandatory, and refusal or dropping out halfway will get the probation annulled. The second condition is to submit to random testing. Alcohol can stay in the body for 3 to 5 days, while most controlled drugs can stay for 2 to 5 days. Cannabis is an exception that can stay in the body from a week to a month.

The probation officer conducts drug tests on the probationer randomly. If traces of drugs come up in the urine test, the court can cancel the probation and send the offender to prison. A court may also order the probationer to wear SCRAM bracelets which can detect the presence of alcohol in a person’s sweat.

The duration of probation for alcohol and drug addiction varies depending on the charges, i.e., from a few months of treatment to the minimum to 3 years; it is set at the time of initial sentencing.If a probationer undergoing treatment is found to have consumed drugs or alcohol, the probation officer has the discretion to give them a warning or report to the court. If the judge finds the probationer to be in breach of the conditions, he may sentence additional terms, impose heavy fines, and even revoke the probation to send the person to prison.