Drug Court is a treatment alternative to incarceration for adult offenders with a substance abuse disorder before the Chesterfield County and City of Colonial Heights Circuit Courts. The program lasts at least 18 months and typically requires a longer period for successful completion. It is an intensive program that achieves positive results for motivated drug abusers.
Drug abusers charged with a non-violent felony and who have never been convicted of a violent crime or drug distribution may be eligible to participate. The charge does not need to be a drug violation. If the person successfully completes the program, the charge or charges will be dismissed. However, failure to successfully complete the program will result in a felony conviction and at least six months in jail, and possibly more. This is true even where the sentencing guidelines may have called for probation without incarceration. Also, violating conditions of the program will lead to sanctions that may include incarceration before being terminated as unsuccessful.
Participants are required to complete intensive, community-based, treatment services under the direction of a team of professionals from the Commonwealth 's Attorney's Office, Community Corrections Services, defense/public defender's office, the judiciary, Mental Health Support Services and the Police Department.
- Who is eligible for Drug Court services?
- Agree to participate in drug court
- Are charged with a felony drug offense or a felony property offense in Chesterfield County or the City of Colonial Heights
- Can physically and mentally participate in drug court activities
- Have no prior convictions for felony violence, sex offenses or drug distribution
- Have stable transportation
- Live within 30 minutes of the Chesterfield Courthouse
- Meet DSM criteria for substance abuse dependence
- Persons who are 18 years or older
- What can Drug Court do for me?
Participating in Drug Court is not just about staying clean, it is about getting your life back together. Being successful in drug court means you have an opportunity to:
- Achieve sustained sobriety
- Improve decision-making skills
- Mend family relationships
- Pay court costs, fees and restitution
- Provide access to community resources
- Secure and maintain employment
- Succeed in becoming a productive, responsible, law-abiding citizen within the community
- What is required of me in Drug Court?
To be successful in Drug Court, you must invest in yourself. Staff are available to assist you in navigating responsibilities that include:
- Developing a payment plan to pay fees/restitution where applicable
- Maintaining sobriety - two to four drug screens each week
- Reliable transportation and housing
- Securing and maintaining employment or consistent school attendance
- Treatment sessions - at least two to three times each week
- Community support meetings
- Family counseling
- Group therapy
- Individual therapy
- Skills groups
- Specialized groups
- Weekly court hearings
- How long does Drug Court last?
As designed, Drug Court is 18 months. The process is as follows:
- Consists of five phases.
- Each phase has specific treatment and behavioral goals/requirements that must be met to move to the next phase.
- Participants move through the program at their own pace based on how quickly they meet their goals/requirements.
- A graduated system of sanctions and incentives are incorporated into the program to address noncompliance issues or reward positive movement forward.
- How do I enter Drug Court?
The first step to being considered for Drug Court is review by the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office. Defense attorneys seeking additional information or request for case review may contact:
- Chesterfield Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office - Geoff Easton - Phone: 804-748-1221
- Colonial Heights Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office - Erin Barr - Phone: 804-520-9293
The potential candidate will be interviewed/assessed by the Drug Court probation officer to determine appropriateness for the program. Upon completion of the assessment, the probation officer will advise the Commonwealth’s attorney and defense attorney of acceptance/non-acceptance.
If accepted, a date to plead into the program will be set. If not accepted, the charge will continue to proceed through the traditional court process.
- Can I attend a session of Drug Court?
We encourage individuals who are interested in learning more about Drug Court to attend a session.
Drug Court is held each Wednesday from 9:30 a.m. to approximately 10:30 a.m. at:
Chesterfield Circuit Court
9500 Courthouse Road
Chesterfield, VA 23832