Nevada Revised Statute § 176.0613 defines a specialty court program as “a program established by a court to facilitate testing, treatment and oversight of certain persons over whom the court has jurisdiction and who the court has determined suffer from a mental illness or abuses alcohol or drugs.” Drug courts are specialty court programs that focus more on the rehabilitation of alleged offenders than punishing them.
If an alleged offender qualifies for participation in a drug court program, successful completion of the program can allow that person to avoid having a conviction on his or her criminal record. Failure to complete the program, however, can result in an alleged offender being convicted for the underlying criminal charge and possibly being sentenced to a prison term and ordered to pay a large fine.
Lawyer for Drug Courts in Las Vegas, NV
If you were arrested in Clark County for any kind of drug-related crime, it will be in your best interest to immediately seek legal representation for help determining whether you may be eligible for a Las Vegas drug court program. Gallo Law Office can fight to make sure that you achieve the most favorable possible outcome to your case.
Las Vegas criminal defense attorney James C. Gallo aggressively defends clients in Boulder City, North Las Vegas, Henderson, and many surrounding areas in southern Nevada. He can provide a full evaluation of your case when you call (702) 385-3131 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
Types of Drug Courts in Nevada
The Eighth Judicial District Court handles drug cases in Clark County. The District Court has six different drug court programs for specific groups of alleged offenders, including:
- Adult Criminal Drug Court — Drug court for adult alleged offenders facing felony drug charges.
- Prison Re-Entry Drug Court — Program for non-violent Nevada Department of Corrections inmates within two years of their probation releases.
- Dependency Mothers Drug Court — Drug court for female alleged offenders with child custody issues.
- Juvenile Drug Court — Program for alleged juvenile offenders.
- Dependency Drug Court — Drug court for alleged offenders who are parents accused of abusing or neglecting their children.
- Child Support Drug Court — Program for alleged offenders who are non-custodial parents who are non-custodial parents accused of failing to make child support payments.
Phases of Las Vegas Drug Court
The requirements of a drug court program can vary depending on the specific type of program that an alleged offender is admitted to. Most programs typically last one year and require participants to attend regularly scheduled court appearances, undergo counseling, and submit to drug tests.
The Las Vegas Justice Court Drug Court Program, for example, includes the four following phases:
- Orientation and Early Intervention | Phase I — The alleged offender attends program orientation, submits urinalysis (UA), and completes his or her schedule intake. The alleged offender continues with random UA testing and signs up for substance abuse counseling and other appointed classes. The alleged offender is expected to be employed or have signed up for Social Security Income or Disability by end of phase and complete an Action Plan for Relapse, submit it to the court, and remain compliant in the program while meeting all treatment goals.
- Therapeutic and Education | Phase II — The alleged offender is expected to attend group and individual counseling three times per week and continue to submit to random drug testing. Alleged offenders must comply in all court matters, including 60 days of negative drug and alcohol testing as confirmed by UA testing.
- Therapeutic Process | Phase III — The alleged offender is expected to attend group and individual counseling twice per week and continue to submit to random drug testing. Alleged offenders also must be involved in a voluntary community service project of their choice for at least four hours a week throughout the rest of the program, and provide proof of those hours to the court.
- Therapeutic Maintenance | Phase IV — The alleged offender must attend group and individual counseling once a week and continue to submit to random drug testing. An alleged offender will also be assigned to work with a new participant as a mentor for his or her first 90 days by assisting them through their first phase. Alleged offenders must have sustained sobriety with at least 180 days clean, comply with all court requirements including drug testing, and demonstrate to the court through their behavior that they understand the nature of their addictions by exercising personal responsibility for their recovery by completing a pre-graduation packet at least 30 days prior to graduation for drug court team to approve and sign.
If an alleged offender successfully completes his or her drug court program, the criminal charges against him or her will be dismissed. While the dismissal is without adjudication of guilt and is not considered a conviction for the purposes of employment, civil rights, or any statute, it is still considered a conviction for the purpose determining second or subsequent offenses.
Nevada Drug Court Resources
Eighth Judicial District Court Drug Courts | Clark County Courts — The Eighth Judicial District Court of Clark County is the largest general jurisdiction court in Nevada, encompassing all municipalities and outlying communities of Clark County. On this section of the court's website, you can learn more about the drug court program, some of its success stories, and recent news. Elsewhere on the website, you can also find court rules, calendars, and answers to frequently asked questions.
The Eighth Judicial District Court of Clark County
Regional Justice Center
200 Lewis Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89155
Research Update on Adult Drug Courts | National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) — The NADCP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit drug court organization with a mission to “reduce substance abuse, crime, and recidivism by promoting and advocating for the establishment and funding of drug courts and providing for the collection and dissemination of information, technical assistance, and mutual support to association members.” The organization publishes multiple scholastic and practitioner publications, and this report published in December 2010 examines the effectiveness of drug courts. It concludes:
The scientific evidence is overwhelming that adult Drug Courts reduce crime, reduce substance abuse, improve family relationships, and increase earning potential. In the process, they return net dollar savings back to their communities that are at least two to three times the initial investments. The optimal target population for Drug Courts has been identified, and fidelity to several key ingredients of the Drug Court model has been demonstrated to be necessary for favorable results.
Gallo Law Office | Las Vegas Drug Courts Lawyer
Were you arrested anywhere in Clark County for a drug-related criminal offense? Gallo Law Office can help you get admitted to a drug court program that will prevent you from having the charge reflected on your criminal record.
James C. Gallo is a skilled criminal defense attorney in Las Vegas who represents clients all over southern Nevada, including such communities as Henderson, Boulder City, North Las Vegas, and many others. Call (702) 385-3131 or fill out an online contact form today to receive a free initial consultation that will let our lawyer review your case and answer all of your legal questions.