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How long does it take to complete drug court in Texas?

On Behalf of | Feb 6, 2024 | Drug Crimes |

Many people accused of a Texas drug crime have a substance abuse disorder. Their sense of chemical dependence and other underlying mental health challenges contribute to their misuse of certain controlled substances. The criminal justice system often serves to reinforce addiction by traumatizing people and cutting them off from key social supports.

The Texas drug courts or adult drug treatment courts are an alternative to traditional criminal prosecution. Someone who qualifies for drug court proceedings can potentially avoid criminal penalties and a criminal record if they complete the process successfully. However, drug court is much more complicated than a traditional criminal trial. It involves close oversight of an individual orchestrated by the drug courts.

Drug court is often a multi-year process

In traditional criminal cases, those accused of breaking the law tried to prove that they did not do something illegal. The process can take anywhere from a few days to multiple years depending on the circumstances.

During drug court proceedings, people assert that the crime they stand accused of relates to a substance abuse disorder rather than any criminal intention on their part. The courts help provide support by requiring the completion of treatment programs and monitoring someone’s progress. The defendant may meet with court officials regularly and has to complete specific requirements set by the judge hearing their case.

Inpatient rehabilitation, regular counseling sessions and randomized drug testing are all common components of Texas drug court proceedings. People have to commit to sobering up and getting help to successfully complete drug court requirements. It usually takes approximately two years to complete the entire process from beginning to end.

While going through the Texas drug courts may take much longer than entering a guilty plea or going to trial, the outcome can be much more favorable for the defendant. They avoid the major setbacks created by having a criminal record and the penalties that the courts could impose after they plead guilty or get convicted. Drug court can be a viable alternative to traditional court proceedings when someone believes that their criminal charges have a direct relationship with a substance abuse issue.