The City of Everett received national attention after they filed a lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company for recklessly supplying OxyContin to drug traffickers in order to maximize the company’s profits. Everett has been swept by a wave of overdoses, crimes, and homelessness as a result of opioid addiction. This epidemic impacts every corner of our society. Hopefully, the city can put the money into more rehabilitation programs if they win the suit.
The funding could increase enrollment in Drug Court and provide other alternatives to confinement including treatment for addicts committing non-violent offenses. Currently, the Snohomish County Superior Court has several alternative programs available to people who are charged with drug possession. I had a client tell me one program was a life-changing event but it was not easy and required many hours of hard work each month.
The Adult Drug Treatment Court (ADTC) is a therapeutic court, which handles cases involving addicted offenders through supervision and treatment. Drug Court program participants are usually involved in an intensive out-patient treatment program where they initially attend meetings three times a week. The meetings taper off as a person moves into a different phase of the program. Drug Court members must also attend a minimum of three sober support meetings and be prepared to provide a random urine sample for drug testing.
Additionally, members are required to obtain employment and receive a GED in order to graduate from the drug court program. They are required to partake in Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT). MRT is a structured program that focuses on changing your thinking and behaviors that lead to problems of drug use, relationship difficulties, and negative lifestyles. Members are not permitted to visit bars, hookah shops, adult entertainment venues, and casinos. They authorize the drug court team to enter their residence to verify a sober lifestyle.
The drug court team includes a Superior Court Judge, a prosecutor, a public defender, treatment professionals and law enforcement. Their goal is to facilitate and monitor a person’s progression in the program. They meet in Court for group sessions and will ask about a person’s successes or struggles with the requirements. Sanctions for a violation include reprimands, jail, additional treatment, or termination from the program and sentencing on the underlying felony offense. They have a high failure rate and only truly motivated individuals will graduate from the program. Participants make a sacrifice but those who graduate are eternally grateful and will have a new outlook on life without a felony conviction on their record.
Please contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who knows your options and eligibility to get into drug court, TAP, or request a first time offender waiver (FTOW), or reducing a felony charge to a misdemeanor. You should understand these terms before your case is resolved. Know your rights and what the best option is for you.