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How is eligibility for the drug court determined in Maryland?

The drug court system is a rehabilitation system that can be used instead of just jail time for those who commit drug offenses. This system has come about as a way to help those in Maryland who struggle with addiction. The rehab plan is designed to break that addiction, offering these offenders a positive alternative, rather than simply time behind bars.

However, the system does not take everyone. For one thing, only those who have not committed violent crimes are allowed to enter. If there are drug charges and violent crime charges, an individual will not be considered. Furthermore, the court will look at a person's history. If that history is violent -- if they have a weapons charge from 20 years ago, for example -- they can also be excluded, even though this is by no means a new charge.

Another thing to note is that, while alcohol use could be a factor, the main addiction cannot be just to alcohol. It has to be to a more regulated or an illegal drug.

Having a felony will not keep you from being eligible. In fact, since many drug charges are felonies, this is often the case.

Even if you meet all of these guidelines, it does not guarantee that you will get in. The court takes every case on an individual basis, and they do assess the situation from time to time to make sure that the right target group is being allowed in.

If you're interested in using this system, perhaps to avoid jail time, be sure that you know exactly what legal steps to take.

Source: Maryland Office of Problem-Solving Courts, "Prince George’s County Circuit Court Adult Drug Court Outcome and Cost Evaluation" accessed Feb. 04, 2015

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