Is Calgary Drug Treatment Court Right for Your Defence?

Drug offences remain a common cause of arrest in Calgary, and the resulting defence cases can place a strain on the city's criminal justice system. For some people accused of drug offences in Calgary, Drug Treatment Court can provide an alternative to a traditional defence case, ensuring people get the help they need rather than a criminal sentence that can only impede their future.

Part of the philosophy behind Calgary's Drug Treatment Court is that drug offences, especially when committed by repeated offenders, are more of a public health issue than they are a problem of more general criminality. This does not mean, however, that drug cases going through the Drug Treatment Court are not handled as legal matters, or that participants in the program avoid all potential for charges and a criminal record.

In addition, very few potential applicants are accepted into the DTC program each year. A Calgary defence lawyer may be able to help you with the application process, and work on your behalf towards this or other alternatives to a traditional criminal case.

Drug Treatment Court: A Calgary Alternative Since 2007

Based on a model that first appeared in the United States in 1989, Calgary's Drug Treatment Court opened to its first entrants in 2007 under Judge Jim Ogle, who continues to preside over cases and serves as the mentoring judge to the court, as well. While still serving as an official court as part of Calgary's justice system, the court emphasizes treatment for drug dependency and addiction, and rehabilitation services to overcome other physical and mental health issues with goal of participants emerging better prepared to become productive members of the Calgary community.

If your application to the Calgary Drug Treatment Court is accepted, you will not face a traditional trial. You will, however, be required to adhere to strict behavioral guidelines, and will be evaluated on a weekly basis by a judge and by the rehabilitative team working with you. Failing to adhere to the guidelines can put you in a worse situation than you were in before, so applicants should consider their dedication carefully before choosing a CDTC application as an alternative defence.

Defence Lawyers and the Calgary Drug Treatment Court

Because you will not face a traditional drug defence case or trial if accepted into the Calgary Drug Treatment Court program, the role of your criminal defence lawyer will be very different. Before applying, a lawyer with experience handling drug offence cases in Calgary can be very useful in helping you determine if the DTC is the right course of action, and can help you with the application process.

If you do apply and are accepted into the program, a defence lawyer can help to make sure your rights are protected, and can assist you if there are any problems with your adherence the treatment program and other guidelines.

For a free consultation regarding your case and the potential use of the Calgary Drug Treatment Court, Contact Calgary defence lawyer Susan Karpa today. She can help you choose the right course of action for your case, and make sure your rights are protected no matter what you decide.