Drug Court and Rehabilitation Programs
In the 1990s, several states began establishing drug courts to reduce recidivism and either help first-time offenders avoid the consequences of a criminal conviction or allow repeat offenders to avoid lengthy prison sentences. Minnesota’s first drug court was established in Hennepin County in 1996, and there are now more than 30 of these courts throughout the state.
In recent years, there has been a greater understanding that many of the alleged offenders charged with drug crimes suffer from disorders or addictions that are better treated with rehabilitation efforts than they are punished with harsh criminal sentences. These alternative courts are often cost-effective efforts that are in the best interests of the alleged offenders, the judicial system, and society as a whole.
Apple Valley Drug Court and Rehabilitation Programs Lawyer
Are you under investigation or have you been arrested for a controlled substance crime in the Twin Cities? Former prosecutor James Blumberg of James Blumberg Law has handled scores of illegal drugs cases and knows how to help people receive the most favorable case outcomes with the fewest possible long-term consequences.
Our Dakota County drug court attorney represents clients in Burnsville, Brooklyn Park, Woodbury, Lakeville, Coon Rapids, Bloomington, Plymouth, and many other surrounding communities. You can have our firm provide a complete evaluation of your case as soon as you call (952) 431-7758 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
Minnesota Drug Court and Rehabilitation Programs Information Center
- How does the drug court program work in Dakota County?
- Do other surrounding counties have these programs?
- What are some of the other problem-solving courts in this area?
Adult Drug Court Program in Dakota County
The Dakota County Adult Drug Court Program (DCADCP) is for repeat and serious drug offenders, namely substance-dependent alleged offenders charged with felony controlled substance offenses and deemed to be at high risk to reoffend. The program is voluntary, but requirements become mandatory as soon as eligible alleged offenders agree to participate.
DCADCP participants are required to regularly meet with their probation officers, attend chemical health support group meetings (such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous), submit to breath and urine testing, and serve some jail time and/or electronic home monitoring (EHM). The program consists of four phases that typically last about one year:
Intake and Assessment Phase (30 Days)
After observing a drug court session, the alleged offender needs to complete a chemical dependency evaluation within 30 days to determine whether he or she is chemically dependent and, thus, eligible for the program. If they are out of jail, DCADCP participants need to:
- Make sure assigned probation officers receive a copy of their evaluations within 10 days;
- Meet with the drug court probation officers to complete screening assessments;
- Attend their court appearances before a drug court judge;
- Attend weekly chemical health support group in the community;
- Provide verification of their attendance to the probation officers; and
- Submit to drug testing screens twice a week.
Phase One (60-90 Days)
This phase begins the date that a DCADCP participant receives his or her sentence. Minimum requirements of this phase include:
- Serve first portion of sentence in jail or on EHM, if so ordered;
- Attend chemical dependency treatment per program requirements;
- Meet with probation officer once a week;
- Attend court reviews twice a month;
- Attend chemical support groups at least once a week with signed verification; and
- Submit to urine screens twice a week.
Phase Two (90 days)
The minimum requirements of this phase for DCADCP participants are:
- Continue to attend chemical dependency treatment per the program requirements;
- Meet with probation officer twice a month;
- Attend court reviews monthly;
- Attend chemical support groups a minimum of once a week with signed verification;
- Submit to urine screens once a week; and
- Attend cognitive program (if primary chemical dependency treatment and aftercare have been completed) twice a week for 12 weeks or weekly for 24 weeks.
Phase Three (180 days)
The minimum requirements of this phase include:
- Meet with probation officer once a month;
- Attend court reviews as needed;
- Attend chemical support groups a minimum of once a week with signed verification;
- Submit to urine screens twice a month; and
- If unfinished, attend cognitive program twice a week until completed.
When a participant successfully completes all four phases, he or she will graduate from the program. The participant may remain on probation for the remainder of his or her sentence and still be subject to random urine screens, but the tenure is generally considerably less than the maximum sentence alleged offenders were originally facing.
Anoka County, Ramsey County, and Hennepin County Drug Court Programs
Many of the other counties in the greater Apple Valley area also have their own drug court programs. The eligibility standards and requirements of these programs can differ depending on the county.
Other programs for people charged with controlled substance crimes include:
- Ramsey County Adult Substance Abuse Court — This program lasts a minimum of 12 months and is divided into three major phases. There are four different tracks for the Ramsey County program. Diversion allows alleged offenders charged with non-violent first offenses to make admissions of the underlying facts, and deferred prosecution allows alleged offenders with some misdemeanor and/or minor non-violent felonies one their criminal records to make an admission of guilt in which the court reserves accepting the plea. In diversion and deferred prosecution, there is no finding of guilt and no conviction if the alleged offender successfully completes the program.
- Hennepin County Drug Court — This is a 12-month minimum program available to alleged offenders who are Hennepin County residents 18 years of age or older, charged with non-violent felony property or drug offenses, and high risk to re-offend and fail on standard probation and having a chemical dependency problem. Alleged offenders begin the program by entering guilty pleas, but successful completion can result in discharge from active probation after which charges can be reduced to misdemeanors or completely dismissed and alleged offenders may have all public records of the arrest expunged. There are four phases to Hennepin County’s program: The Primary Treatment Phase, Cognitive Skills/ Establishing Stable Housing Phase, Employment/Education/Community Involvement Phase, and Service and Sobriety Phase.
- Anoka County Pre-Charge Diversion Program — The Attorney’s Office offers this program for alleged low-level felony offenders with little or no criminal history. It allows an alleged offender to attend a meeting in Anoka County Community Corrections, admit his or her guilt, sign a diversion contract, and follow certain conditions to keep the felony charge and possible conviction off their record instead of going to court. Alleged offenders may be required to undergo chemical dependency treatment and provide a chemical health assessment.
Other Rehabilitation Programs in Minnesota
Hennepin County and Ramsey County also have two other courts relating to specific types of alleged offenders facing controlled substance charges:
- Veterans Treatment Court — The Hennepin County Veterans Court helps United States Armed Forces veterans struggling with addiction, serious mental illness, and/or co-occurring disorders. It is a 12-18 month program that involves ongoing judicial supervision and intensive probation supervision. The Ramsey County Veterans Justice Initiative lasts a minimum of nine months for misdemeanors and one year for gross misdemeanors and felonies. Ramsey County has four dispositional paths: pre-charge or diversion, deferred prosecution, post-adjudication, and probation violation.
- Mental Health Court — The Hennepin County Mental Health Court handles cases involving the civil commitment of people to treatment centers as well as referrals from Criminal Court. The program provides assistance to alleged offenders with mental health issues, assisting with housing, employment, and therapy while monitoring medication as well as drug and alcohol use. The Ramsey County Mental Health Court (RCMHC) helps alleged offenders who have been diagnosed with a significant mental health condition and charged with non-violent crimes. Participants in this program must comply with several requirements, including submitting to random drug and alcohol tests, performing community service, and appearing at all scheduled meetings, appointments, support groups, and court appearances.
James Blumberg Law – A Drug Court and Rehabilitation Programs Lawyer in Dakota County
If you have been charged with any kind of illegal drug crime in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, you will want to be sure that you have skilled legal counsel fighting to protect your rights. Former prosecutor James Blumberg fully understands how drug courts and other rehabilitative programs work, and he helps his clients get accepted into and complete these programs.
James Blumberg Law defends alleged offenders in Blaine, Maple Grove, Minnetonka, Eden Prairie, Eagan, St. Cloud, and many other areas in the Twin Cities. You can have our Apple Valley drug court attorney review your case by calling (952) 431-7758 to set up a free consultation.