The Illinois Drug Court Program for Juveniles
Often, individuals who are charged with drug possession and related offenses are struggling with addiction. Research shows that these individuals generally have a better chance of overcoming their addictions and moving forward with productive lives when they receive addiction treatment, rather than punishment.
Across the nation, drug court programs have been developed to provide the treatment addicted individuals need. When a minor is arrested and charged with a criminal offense, he or she is best served by an experienced juvenile defense lawyer. The juvenile justice system is not the same as Illinois’ adult court system, so choose a lawyer who has worked within this system.
Differences Between Drug Court and Regular Criminal Court
A minor may enter a drug court program just like an adult facing addiction can. In drug court, the court determines an appropriate treatment program for a defendant, rather than sentencing him or her to penalties like incarceration and probation. When a participant completes his or her treatment, he or she “graduates” from drug court and has the charge dismissed.
Is My Child Eligible for the Juvenile Drug Court Program?
Facing a drug charge does not automatically qualify your child for the drug court program. To enter this program, he or she must meet the following criteria:
- Recommendation for the program by the prosecutor;
- Court approval to enter the program;
- Your child’s charge may not be for a violent crime;
- Your child must agree that he or she is addicted to an illegal substance;
- He or she must be willing to participate in a drug treatment program; and
- Your child must not have been adjudicated delinquent for certain violent offenses within the past 10 years.
What to Expect from Juvenile Drug Court
A minor involved in the drug court program receives counseling and other types of treatment from mental health professionals and other healthcare providers who work with individuals facing substance addiction. This program also involves close monitoring and regular drug tests for the participant to ensure his or her compliance. When a participant does not comply with the terms of a drug court program, he or she may be removed from the program and face the original charge again in criminal court.
In addition to supervision and drug testing, a minor in the drug court program may be required to receive treatment in an inpatient, outpatient, or detention-based residential program. This can include drug analysis testing and therapy. He or she may also receive educational or vocational counseling if the court deems it to be appropriate.
Work with an Experienced Geneva Juvenile Defense Lawyer
If your son or daughter is facing a drug-related charge, he or she can potentially receive treatment through an Illinois drug court. To learn more about this program and your child’s legal options, speak with one of the experienced Naperville juvenile defense lawyers on our team at Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa, LLC. Contact our office today to set up your initial consultation with us.