Can Drug Court Help Me Avoid a Criminal Conviction?

Posted: September 1, 2023 at 12:00 am

If you’re facing criminal charges, it’s natural to wonder if there might be avenues outside of the traditional court process where you can get a positive resolution to your case. In Kansas, drug court can be a possible way to resolve your DUI. Drug court offers those guilty of substance-related offenses an opportunity to address the underlying issues that led to their legal troubles. Talk with your drug crime lawyer about your options in Johnson County, KS, since every county has different opportunities and rules.

Drug Court in Kansas

Drug court is a specialized court program designed for individuals with drug or alcohol-related offenses. Its primary goal is to focus on treatment and rehabilitation rather than punitive measures. The state hopes that, in doing this, it can reduce the number of repeat offenses and help participants lead a drug-free life. Drug courts in Kansas operate based on the principle that, since substance abuse is a primary factor in many criminal activities, addressing addiction and its underlying causes can resolve immediate legal issues, but also pave the way for a healthier life for those facing a DUI. The goal is to create a win/win situation where everyone – the state, the community, and the person facing a DUI – can all benefit.

Eligibility Criteria for Drug Court

Not everyone facing drug-related charges in Kansas is eligible for drug court. Several factors determine eligibility. Firstly, the charges against a person must be primarily related to drug or alcohol use. Someone charged with a violent crime that isn’t directly linked to substance use, even if they were using a substance at the time, might not be considered. Secondly, the individual must show a genuine desire to undergo treatment and make a change in their life. The courts look favorably upon those who are proactive about their rehabilitation. Those with a history of violent crimes, or those who have been through a drug court program previously and failed, might find it challenging to be accepted again. Finally, the specifics of the drug court programs vary slightly from one jurisdiction to another in Kansas. You must speak with a qualified Johnson City, KS drug crime lawyer to understand the specifics as they relate to your situation.

Benefits of Drug Court

If you qualify for and decide to go through drug court, you stand to gain in several ways. The most immediate benefit is the potential to avoid a criminal conviction. Upon your successful completion of the program, the charges against you may be reduced or possibly even dismissed altogether, which also means the offense might not appear on your criminal record. Additionally, participants in this program often find that the intensive treatment and counseling provided through the drug court program can provide them with the tools they need to combat addiction effectively. This can lead to long-term benefits, like improved personal relationships, better job prospects, and an overall enhanced quality of life. The community also benefits from the drug court system, with fewer people incarcerated for drug offenses and more individuals receiving the treatment they need to overcome substance abuse issues.


While the drug court program offers many benefits, bear in mind that participants must commit to a strict regimen of treatment, counseling, and regular court appearances. Missing appointments or failing drug tests can lead to sanctions or even expulsion from the program. Furthermore, the program demands honesty, dedication, and a genuine commitment to recovery. For those not truly ready to change their ways or face their addiction, the process can be especially tough.

The Drug Court Process

Once an individual is deemed eligible and decides to enter the drug court program, they start a structured journey towards recovery and legal resolution. The details will vary a bit depending on your specific situation, but, in general, you can expect the following:

An Initial Assessment and Orientation

Upon entering the program, participants undergo a comprehensive assessment to determine the nature and extent of their substance use issues. This assessment guides the type of treatment and counseling required. Following the assessment, participants attend an orientation session where they are familiarized with the program’s rules, expectations, and potential outcomes.

Treatment and Counseling

The next step is to establish a tailored plan to help each participant get the treatment and counseling they need. Treatments might include anything from detoxification to residential or outpatient treatment, group therapy, individual counseling, or a combination of all these. The goal is to provide the participant with the necessary support to overcome their addiction. Regular drug tests are also required, and these ensure compliance and progress.

Regular Court Appearances

Drug court is not just about treatment. Participants are required to make regular appearances before the drug court judge. During these sessions, the court reviews progress and gives feedback. Positive progress might be rewarded, while setbacks can result in more stringent requirements or even sanctions.

Progressive Phases

Most drug courts operate in phases, with each phase having its own set of requirements and milestones. As participants meet the goals in one phase, they then move on to the next phase, with each step bringing them closer to program completion.

Johnson County’s Court System

The Johnson County court system has standardized drug testing for those on probation or under Pretrial Supervision. If you’re a part of this system, understanding the expectations and need for compliance will get you the best outcome for your case. Drug testing is used as both a preventative measure and an accountability tool. It helps ensure participants are keeping to the conditions set by their Court Services Officer (CSO), supports their commitment to a drug-free life, and demonstrates to the court that they are making a sincere effort to reform.

Drug Testing Procedures and Providers

In Johnson County, all drug testing services are provided by averhealth. averhealth has two locations for drug testing within Johnson County. The Olathe location at 120 E. Park Street, Olathe is situated at the intersection of Park and Chestnut, while the Merriam location is found at 8001 Shawnee Mission Pkwy, Unit 100, Merriam. All participants are required to stay updated about their testing schedule by calling the court’s message line at (913) 232-2844 every day, including weekends and holidays, to find out if they are slated for testing that day. Remember, the court will not accept any claim that a participant was unable to reach the message line. Collection hours at averhealth centers are from 8 am to 6 pm on weekdays, and 9 am to 1 pm on weekends and holidays.

Your Defense Counsel in Drug Court

Having legal representation is the best way to get a positive outcome and avoid a criminal conviction, even if you’re going through the drug court. While drug court is designed to help participants, it’s still a part of the judicial system. A defense attorney can advocate for your best interests, help you accepted for the program, and ensure you receive fair treatment and that your rights are protected. In addition, the drug court process can be very complex, making it helpful to have an attorney to guide you, so you fully understand your responsibilities and what to expect. Finally, your defense counsel will be your bridge with the court.

Your Drug Crime Lawyer in Johnson County, KS

Drug court in Kansas offers a path that focuses on rehabilitation over punishment. The journey is not easy, but with dedication and the right support, it’s possible to overcome addiction and potentially avoid a criminal conviction, too. If you or a loved one is facing drug-related charges, reach out to us at Henderson Legal Defense, LLC for the guidance and representation you need.