Damico & Stockstill, Attorneys at Law

Drug charges and pretrial diversion program

There are some criminal charges that could seriously impact a person's personal and professional reputation. A drug charge is one of those. Whether it is a minor or major charge, this type of criminal charge has the tendency to impact one's life, as it could present issues when applying for financial aid for college or applying for a job. Thus, it is important to consider your defense options as well as mechanisms available to reduce the penalties faced by such a charge.

For those facing drug charges in Baton Rouge, it might be possible to avoid criminal penalties by entering into a pretrial intervention program. This program is designed for first time offenders that have had no prior contact with the criminal justice system. Additionally, it is up to the District Attorney's office to determine who qualifies for this program or not.

When an individual enters into this program, he or she must meet certain conditions. This means that the underlying reason why he or she has entered the program will be addressed. For those facing drug charges, this means going through a drug treatment program. This also means talking with counselors to understand why the problem exists and ways to treat the problem. While in this program, offenders will be subject to random drug tests. As a condition to this program, restitution must be paid to any victims involved in the matter.

When an offender completes the program successfully, a certificate is issued. This normally leads to the dismissal of all charges. One should note that re-offenders are immediately discharged from the program. When this occurs, the criminal case will then proceed to prosecution.

When accused of a drug crime, it is important to understand your defense options. While this could look like going to court and presenting a defense in front of a judge, it could also look like taking a plea deal or entering a diversion program. Taking any of these defense steps could help the accused reduce or eliminate the criminal penalties they are facing.

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Damico & Stockstill, Attorneys at Law

8048 One Calais Avenue | Suite A | Baton Rouge, LA 70809-3483 | Phone: 225-250-1812 | Fax: 225-769-0195 | Baton Rouge Law Office Map