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Common Legal Charges That Requires Drug & Alcohol Evaluation

ersons found under the influence of drugs and alcohol after committing a crime may have to go through a drug and alcohol evaluation.

Purpose of the Drug & Alcohol Evaluation

The purpose of the evaluation is to reveal whether the person was abusing a substance and to what extent. It helps the judge to decide the right penalty for the offender. The penalty will depend on the severity of the crime. The timing of the evaluation would vary according to jurisdictions and an individual’s situation. It also allows a specialized treatment provider to develop a treatment plan according to an individual’s circumstance. That information resulted from the test is also used to help one overcome their addiction.

A Court-Ordered Evaluation

A court-ordered drug & alcohol evaluation usually is done by a certified treatment provider that looks into an individual’s drug abuse history, criminal record, driving record, and arrest report. An interview about the offender’s drug use may also be required. In some states, the court requires that the evaluation be started and finished before sentencing. The cost of the assessment is paid by the offender, as most states require. The offender pays the cost of the evaluation along with other fines issued by the court. The cost of the evaluation is, on average, $100 to $150, although it varies by state. The results can affect what sentence the individual receives. Having a drug and alcohol evaluation is crucial if one wants to participate in a diversion program. If one participated in a diversion program but failed to comply with their part of their sentence, the individual may be brought back to court. They would have to go through a probation violation hearing, or their allowance to participate in a diversionary program will be revoked. A resentencing will then ensue, resulting in harsher penalties.

Conventional Charges for Drug/Alcohol Abuse

Multiple charges could require you to have a drug test done. They range in severity, so penalties also differ. These charges include:

-Driving Under the Influence (DUI) (includes minors)

-Impairment Due to Alcohol or Controlled Substances

-Possession of Marijuana or other Controlled Substances

-Public Drunkness

-Disorderly Conduct

-Drug Trafficking or the Distribution of Drugs

-Manufacturing and/or Distributing of Controlled Substances

-Use of Fake ID for Purchase or Consumption of Controlled Substances.

Penalties for Drug or Alcohol Abuse or Addiction

Addiction is, unfortunately, not a valid defense to have charges dropped for the above offenses. Fines for those offenses can range from $250 to $250,000. Jail time ranging from 30 days to 30 years can result from felony or misdemeanor charges. Persons placed on probation or parole would be subjected to random drug tests. If they failed, immediate incarceration is the result.

Voluntarily and promptly doing the evaluation is recommended as it will make a positive impression on the judge later down in the trial. It can be brought up to help sway plea negotiations. If an assessment is delayed after the arrest, it would not create the same positive impression on the judge.