In 1996, the Ohio Senate passed a bill that would allow 4th and 5th degree felony offenders to go through probation rather than serve a prison sentence for their crime. Coupled with the “Intervention in Lieu of Conviction” statute passed in 2000, the Ohio drug courts were created.
Ohio’s drug courts are an alternative to jail time penalties for drug offenders. If your case qualifies, you may be able to go through a court supported treatment program. The drug court aims to target drug dependency and treat it, rather than punishing someone who is addicted. If the candidate effectively completes their program, their charges may be dropped or reduced. The National Institute of Justice reports a decline in recidivism rates in prison because of drug courts. But in order to have this alternative, your case must qualify.
Eligibility for Ohio Drug Courts
Not all cases involving drug charges qualify for the Ohio drug courts. Participants require specific traits in order to partake.
- The felony must be 4th or 5th degree
- The accused must show motivation to complete the program and to want to change
- The alleged offender must have a chemical dependency or addiction to the drugs
- Domestic violence is handled case–by–case
- The candidate must meet Ohio’s guidelines that anticipates their sentencing to end in probation
At Koffel Brininger Nesbitt, we believe that drug addiction is a disease that should be treated, not punished. We advocate for Ohio drug courts. In fact, retired Ohio drug court judge, Scott VanDerKarr recently joined our firm to head our preventative law program for drug crimes. Our Ohio drug crime attorneys work hard on behalf of those who are addicted. We believe you should be treated for your condition, not punished. If you have been charged with a 4th or 5th degree drug felony, we might be able to get your case tried in an Ohio drug court. Call today to schedule an appointment.