Has your loved one committed a crime that’s totally out of their character? Did they do so under the influence of drugs or alcohol? Believe it or not, with the help of a West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney, they may just be able to avoid jail time while at the same time negating their bad habits with the help of court-appointed rehabilitation.

Find out if your loved one’s crime, drug or alcohol abuse, and current circumstances qualify for court-appointed rehab rather than a jail sentence or prison time in this article.

Hiring An Attorney Can Help You Avoid Jail Time

To start, you should always look into hiring a criminal defense attorney to represent you or your loved one in court. Your attorney will be able to explain your circumstances and work with your family to present testimony to the court that your decision making was altered from a substance.

Plus, the court will need to see that the defendant will benefit from rehabilitation to avoid committing the same (or worse) crimes in the future.

How Does A Defendant Qualify For Court-Appointed Rehabilitation?

The court realizes that in certain situations, jail or prison time served may not be the best way to improve a defendant’s behavior. Rather than time served, they will consider rehabilitation. There have been many cases where this type of sentence changes the life of the offender as well as the people around them in a positive way.

However, just because someone may have been under the influence while committing a crime, doesn’t mean that they automatically can qualify for court-appointed rehab. That’s where having a criminal defense attorney comes into play. Rather than serving a sentence in jail or prison, your attorney will work to prove that the defendant qualifies for court-appointed rehabilitation by presenting evidence that:

– The crime was nonviolent.

– The crime committed took place because of the substance that the defendant was under the influence of.

– The defendant shows signs of being able to recover from their drug or alcohol problem.

– The defendant does, in fact, qualify for a probationary sentence.

With the help of the attorney and a positive, open-minded outlook on the case, a defendant can prove to the court that they understand the magnitude of the crime committed and that they are willing to correct the behavior that caused the act. The court can be understanding of these circumstances and work towards recovery rather than looking at the crime in a way that needs to be punishable.

Cases That Qualify For Emergency Court-Appointed Rehab

When an attorney and defendant are asking the court to consider rehabilitation, the court will partner with other sources of law enforcement like police offers and addiction specialists. They will assist in completing a screening to help the court better understand exactly what drug the offender may be under the influence of, the level of addiction, and which program could best benefit them.

There are a few things that could kick-start emergency court-appointed rehabilitation, including:

– If the defendant is found unable to control their actions.

– If the defendant uses drugs or alcohol daily.

– If the defendant is suffering from other health conditions because of their substance or alcohol abuse.

– If the defendant has acted and continues to act dangerously to themselves and people around them.

If one or more of these factors are true about the defendant, the court will consider an emergency court order for rehabilitation. A court hearing will be scheduled, allowing the family to plead their case. After the investigation and testimony are heard, the authorities will ultimately have the final say.

Types Of Court-Appointed Rehabilitation

There are obviously a variety of substances that a person can become addicted to, so there’s no “one program” that can generalize treatment for addicts. The court will consider the facts and determine whether an alcohol education program, a substance abuse education program or a drug intervention program is best for them.

These programs all vary in time. Some alcohol education programs can vary from 10 weeks to drug abuse programs that last up to 15-weeks. Upon completion, the charges will be dropped.

The Effectiveness Of Court-Appointed Rehabilitation Programs

If you’re concerned about the effectiveness of court-appointed rehab for your family member, you can rest assured that the court acts in the best interest of the defendant when considering drugs and alcohol as a relevant factor in a criminal case.

It does make sense to think that the success rate wouldn’t be very high as people seem forced into treatment. However, the effectiveness of court-mandated treatment hinges entirely on intrinsic motivation – that is, the motivation of the person in rehab, not external factors.

As mentioned above, the defendant must show that they are able and willing to undergo rehabilitation, showing a desire to change. When this intrinsic motivation is present, court-mandated rehab is just as effective as voluntary rehab.

Failing To Comply With Court-Appointed Rehabilitation

We have to be honest: the court already views rehabilitation as a lenient sentence when it comes to certain crimes. Failure to comply to the guidelines or failure to complete treatment could result in more severe sentencing in the future. This means that the defendant could face prosecution for their crime to the fullest legally permissible extent.

Depending on the judge handling the case, the sentence pronounced may be harsher if someone has failed a treatment program. If the defendant had pleaded guilty before starting the rehab program, they will face sentencing based on their earlier plea.

They will likely face a minimum of the sentence previously served, although this depends completely on the judge at this point. The defendant can change their plea to “not guilty,” if they choose, but any criminal defense attorney would strongly advise against that as the ruling will most likely not be in their favor.

Complying With Court-Appointed Rehab May Benefit You And Your Family

Although nobody wants to be forced to do anything they don’t want to do, participating open-mindedly and following the guidelines to court-appointed rehab can actually benefit you and your loved ones greatly. To find out if you or your loved one qualifies for this type of intervention, feel free to call our office to discuss your case.