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Could a New Mexico Drug Court program be the answer if you’re facing drug charges?

On Behalf of | Jun 4, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

If you’re facing drug charges, then you’re likely aware of the stiff penalties that the court may impose if a judge or a jury convicts you of such a crime. The nature of the offense, drug type and amount of it involved are all likely to dictate how harsh of a sentence you face should a judge or jury convict you of such an offense. 

You are fortunate if you live here in Santa Fe and are facing lower-level drug possession charges. You may qualify for participation in one of the county’s three Adult Drug & Treatment Courts. If you are eligible for participation in this program, it could potentially change the trajectory of your life.

How many drug courts are there in Santa Fe, and what’s their mission?

There are three drug courts here in Santa Fe, including: 

  • First Judicial District-Sante Fe County Drug Court
  • First Judicial District Court Treatment Court
  • First Judicial District- Rio Arriba County Drug Court

The three courts mentioned above function as intensive substance abuse treatment programs.

How does Santa Fe’s drug court system work?

A specially-appointed judge oversees the operation of Santa Fe’s drug courts. Almost every drug court participant comes to take part in this program as a part of their probation requirements. The way drug courts typically work is that defendants enter guilty pleas in their felony drug possession cases, receive deferred sentencing whereby they are placed under the supervision of probation officers as they go about meeting program requirements. 

Participants generally spend between up to 12 months in this program. They generally complete individual and group counseling, undergo regular alcohol and drug testing, seek or maintain employment, pursue educational opportunities or complete community service as conditions of their successful enrollment in this program. 

Why do drug court programs exist, and how do you participate?

Many jurisdictions have drug courts to connect defendants to the substance abuse treatment they need and to reduce recidivism. While not every defendant qualifies, it definitely pays to discuss this option with your defense attorney if you think it may be right for you.