Drug Court Law and Legal Definition

Because alcohol and/or drug abuse or dependency have been identified as contributing factors in the commission of many crimes, some states and municipalities have created a specialized system for screening, evaluating, educating, and rehabilitating defendants convicted of alcohol and drug related offenses. A drug court is an alternative sentencing option, usually only available to first offenders or those convicted of lesser offenses. A specialized court referral officer is responsible for the evaluation, education and rehabilitation of persons whose use or dependency on alcohol or drugs directly or indirectly contributed to the commission of an offense for which they were convicted in state or municipal courts and the offender may be ordered to mandatory alcohol and drug abuse treatment programs.

A person who successfully completes the terms of treatment and other conditions imposed by the sentencing drug court may be able able to avoid a criminal conviction and may even be eligible to have records of the offense expunged. Laws vary by state and locality, so please consult the law in your area to determine availability and requirements of drug courts.