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Your addiction could help you avoid a criminal record

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

People get arrested in Virginia every day for the illegal possession of drugs. The possession of prohibited substances and the use of prescription medication by someone other than the intended patients violate state drug laws and can lead to criminal charges if someone gets caught.

Many people who possess or use illicit substances do so because of addiction or chemical dependence. They experience physical and mental symptoms when they go without the drug, so they continue using it, no matter how it affects their lives. People often feel ashamed about addiction and view it as a personal failing.

However, factors ranging from childhood trauma to genetics can influence someone’s vulnerability to addiction. Most people can’t break the chains of addiction without personal support and professional help. Treatment rather than punishment is crucial to break the cycle of addiction. Asking for help could mean that you can avoid a permanent criminal record after an arrest for a Virginia drug offense.

You could qualify for drug court adjudication

The Virginia adult drug treatment court system represents an alternative path for certain people facing certain criminal charges. Those facing nonviolent offenses who have not had a violent criminal conviction in the last 10 years could potentially qualify to have their case go through the drug treatment court instead of the criminal court.

These individuals have to apply for drug court proceedings and demonstrate that addiction played a role in their criminal offenses. They will then need to comply with all of the rules set in place by the judge overseeing their case.

Successful completion of drug treatment programs, random drug tests and probation are frequent requirements set by the Virginia drug courts. Rehabilitation programs are often residential and can require months of commitment from the person seeking treatment.

While it can take several years to resolve an offense in the drug court, successfully completing the requirement means you avoid all criminal penalties. Not only that, but you can also avoid a criminal record that could hold you back for the rest of your life. Learning more about how the drug courts work can help you evaluate whether they are the best option for you after a drug-related arrest.