I have a case that may be appropriate for a resolution involving the Drug Recovery Court. How do I start the process for consideration?
If the State’s attorney is willing to consider the defendant’s participation in the Drug Recovery Court as an option, the first step would be to discuss the case with the Drug Court Coordinator, Dr. Elaine Kelly.
If the initial eligibility requirements are met, Dr. Kelly will evaluate the case through a validated risk and needs assessment. Assuming that all eligibility requirements are met, the final decision regarding admission rests with the Court.
Please also see the general admission criteria here.
Does my client have to enter a plea to be considered for the Drug Recovery Court Program?
Generally, yes. The Drug Recovery Court program is exclusively a post-conviction, post-sentencing program. In some cases, the Drug Recovery Court will also accept participants after a revocation of probation for earlier convictions.
Where can I find the eligibility criteria for the Drug Court Recovery Program?
Please visit the Drug Recovery Court Admissions page here.
Where can I find the basic expectations of participants in the Drug Recovery Court program?
The basic expectations of a participant in the Drug Recovery Court program are set forth in two documents: the Participant Handbook and the Participant Contract.
In addition, all persons entering the program are asked to review and sign a “Drug Court Expectations” document summarizing many of the more important expectations. This document may be found here.
What happens if a participant successfully completes the Drug Recovery Court program?
Upon successful completion of, and graduation from, the Drug Recovery Court program, the Court will modify the previous sentence to a probationary sentence with additional conditions. An exemplar of a post-graduation probationary order can be found here.
Of course, if a graduate violates the terms of this post-graduation probation order, the graduate will be subject to probation revocation proceedings as in a typical case.
What happens if a participant fails to complete the Drug Recovery Court program?
If a participant is removed from the Drug Recovery Court program, the case will be transferred to another division of the Criminal Court. There, the former participant will be expected to show cause why, given the failure to complete Drug Court, the sentence previously imposed should not be ordered into execution.
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Hamilton County Criminal Court
600 Market Street, Chattanooga, Tennessee 37402, United States
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