DUI Court Erie PA | Erie County Drug Court Program
For those facing DUI, drug crime and many non-violent crimes such as theft there are treatment courts offered through all Pennsylvania counties. Treatment courts such as DUI court, drug court and veterans court are unique in that they keep individuals out of jail and on the road to a healthy, law-abiding lifestyle. Each participant in Treatment Court is assessed for a wide variety of supportive services, primarily drug and alcohol and/or mental health treatment. Also, there is access to individual and family counseling, educational degrees, job skill training, housing and transportation assistance. Treatment Court surrounds a participant with all of the services and support needed to be on the right path in life.
Treatment courts in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are made up of a team. Team members range from judges, lawyers, probation officers and counselors. Each team member, including the judge, has specialized training and experience in the Treatment Court program. The Treatment Court team works together to help you as much as possible.
How Pennsylvania Treatment Courts Can Help You
Treatment Court can help you avoid going to jail or if incarcerated, get you out of jail and into treatment. Treatment Court will provide you with the chance to recover from any substance abuse issues, stabilize any mental health issues, and otherwise provide you with all of the help you will ever need to stay out of future trouble.
The Pennsylvania Treatment Court Process
An individual treatment plan is put together for you based on your history, your present needs and any future changes to those needs. You will be on community supervision and not in jail. You will be free to live in the community except if inpatient treatment or transitional housing is necessary. You will be required to provide random drug testing and to actively participate in all services. You will appear on a regular basis in court for your progress to be reviewed by the Treatment Court Team.
Is Treatment Court A Way To Avoid Jail?
Absolutely not. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania they are deemed ‘in lieu of jail’ programs meaning if you mess up, drink, get high or violate any of the rules you can and will go to jail. Treatment court is not easy; it requires your willingness to work hard to make needed changes in your life. Please keep in mind, recovery from addictions and/or criminal thinking takes time. There is no quick fix or cure for behaviors that are often years in the making.
There are three phases to your Treatment Court program, with your responsibilities decreasing as you successfully move through each phase. The bottom line is that you are in charge of all the progress you make and the time it takes for you to graduate.
What Happens if I Relapse or Don’t Do What I Am Required?
The Treatment Court team has a wealth of experience helping those who have relapsed to get back on the right path. However, you need to know that relapses and other failures to comply with your treatment plan will result in sanctions to you. It is possible you may be sent to jail. If you continue to be non-compliant, you can be removed from the program.
What Are the Benefits of Completing Treatment Court?
Most importantly, your graduation from Treatment Court means you have established a stable and fulfilling lifestyle. Beyond feeling good about yourself and proud of your accomplishments, the rewards can be priceless. For example, you can reconnect with a family member, begin a new career and otherwise be a trusted member of the community. It is likely upon graduation from Treatment Court that your remaining sentence will be reduced.
If you continue to do well on supervision, another benefit you may receive is an early discharge and not be subject to any further court supervision.
How Do I Get Into Treatment Court?
You must apply for Treatment Court with the District Attorney’s Office. The application forms are available online and at the Court Administrator’s Office, the District Attorney’s Office or the Public Defender’s Office.
You will need to participate in a Drug and Alcohol and Mental Health Assessment. Thereafter, if you are approved for admission into Treatment Court, you will be scheduled for a plea ‘and sentencing. Your sentence will be some form of probation with an individualized treatment plan in place.
Am I Eligible for Treatment Court?
Anyone with substance abuse and/or mental health concerns is eligible to apply for Treatment Court. However, not everyone is accepted into Treatment Court. Some of your pending criminal charges and/or past convictions may disqualify you from Treatment Court. Also, any crimes of Violence or any other risk to the community may disqualify you from Treatment Court.
You Owe it to Yourself
Treatment Court is the best opportunity within the justice system for you to get help. You owe it to yourself to consider the option of Treatment Court.