Abusing illicit drugs in the United States can put you in legal trouble. Every state may have varying laws with varying punishments, but no one wants to end up behind bars doing jail time.
In California, possession of illegal drugs like heroin, cocaine, and even medicines obtained without a prescription is against the law. Being caught with any amount of these drugs can cause you to face legal consequences.
In California law, alternative sentencing programs can sometimes result in court-ordered rehab as a way to avoid imprisonment.
What is CA Proposition 47?
California passed Proposition 47 in 2014, reclassifying drug possession offenses down from felonies to misdemeanors.
While it may not seem like such a big deal to get a misdemeanor from drug possession, these misdemeanors can have long-term consequences. Depending on the amount and type of the controlled substance, the defendant can be sentenced to up to a year in prison. And depending on the details of the case involving illicit drugs, a person may still have to face felony charges.
Because of the complications that can come with jail time and a criminal record, it’s generally recommended that a person facing drug charges consult an experienced criminal defense attorney who specializes in DUIs or drug charges.
Understanding Drug Charges
If we take a look at the Health and Safety Code (HSC) of current California law we’ll find details on possession charges.
Under California’s Health and Safety Code:
- Possession of a controlled substance, unless prescribed by a licensed professional, a person may be sentenced to jail time of up to a year. First offenders may be required to pay at least $1000 dollars or do community service. Second time offenders may be required to pay at least $2000 dollars or do community service.
- Transporting for sale, importing across borders, selling, administering, or giving away controlled substances may be punishable by imprisonment for three to nine years and to pay fines upward of $20,000.
- Manufacturing controlled substances can be punishable by imprisonment for up to nine years.
- Being under the influence of controlled substances can be punishable by misdemeanor charges that can result in up to a year in prison.
- Drug paraphernalia possession can be punishable by misdemeanor charges that can result in up to a year in prison.
Any of the above charges may result in fines, probation, forfeiture of property or cash, and/or court-ordered rehab.
What is Court-Ordered Rehab?
Court-ordered rehab is an alternative program that those convicted of certain drug charges may enroll in to avoid jail time. Because addiction is a recognized disease, it is understood that the above criminal offenses may be in part of one’s struggles with substance abuse. For this reason, the legal system may recommend drug treatment as an effective way to approach rehabilitation.
Oftentimes, these charges are not a result of violent behaviors or other behaviors that may put the community in danger. In these cases, court-ordered treatment is seen as a net benefit for both the defendant and the community as a whole.
Is Court Ordered Rehab Effective?
Long-term recovery requires commitment. And those who are only going through treatment to meet court-ordered treatment mandates may not naturally be as committed as someone who willingly admitted themselves into treatment.
However, addiction treatment has improved tremendously in the past couple of decades with the use of pharmacological treatments and advancements in the field of behavioral treatment. Studies on mandated treatment in the criminal justice system have concluded that anywhere from 80% to 85% of prisoners could benefit from drug abuse treatment.
Furthermore, it’s noted that not treating substance abuse and mental health issues can be a detriment to public health and safety. Research consistently shows that behavioral treatment and community-based treatment programs can both reduce drug use and drug-related criminal activity.
Some criminal offenders may be hesitant to commit to the cost of residential treatment vs treatment in prison. However, it’s largely accepted that avoiding incarceration and having a better ability to earn wages post-conviction is the better economic decision for someone facing drug charges.
What Does Rehab Do For You?
Drug and alcohol addiction treatment is a way to get you back on track to a normal daily life, giving you the guidance and tools you need to maintain recovery.
Integrating back into society after a history of criminal activity is not always an easy task. Having drug counselors and vocational rehabilitation can better prepare you for rejoining the workforce and contributing to society.
Not only can court-mandated rehab provides guidance to integrate back into society, but it can help greatly improve one’s mental health. Substance use disorders are too often associated with underlying co-occurring disorders. Depression, anxiety, and trauma are just a few of the common issues related to substance abuse.
In order to live a happy and fulfilling life, addressing these mental health concerns through therapy provided in rehab can be crucial. In a comprehensive treatment program, such as those offered at Wavelengths Recovery in Sonoma County and Orange County, those in recovery go through psychotherapy, holistic therapy, drug counseling, and other therapeutic modalities.
Getting a Court Order for Rehab
If you are facing drug charges, you should consider talking to a criminal defense attorney that can give you a consultation on what you may qualify for under your unique circumstances.
While Wavelengths Recovery can provide the drug treatment you need, you should talk to an attorney in your area that has experience with the courts in your jurisdiction.
If you’re in Sonoma County, a law office such as the Law Office of Amy Chapman may be able to provide the proper guidance you need.
If you’re in Orange County, a criminal defense attorney such as Sabrina Darwish from Darwish Law may be able to help get you court-ordered treatment instead of facing incarceration.
If you have already received a court order and are looking for a treatment center that can meet the requirements for your court-ordered treatment, give Wavelengths Recovery a call at 844-392-8342.