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What is drug court?

When a person is charged with certain drug-related offenses in South Carolina, he or she may have the opportunity to have his or her case moved to drug court. Drug court is a drug treatment program that is supervised by the court. Those individuals who qualify for this program may be able to forgo criminal punishment and get the help that they need if they are able to successfully complete the system requirements.

If one is able to have his or her case moved to drug court, he or she must be willing to make a long-term commitment. This is not a one-and-done kind of deal. These individuals are asked to attend meetings, endure drug testing, make scheduled court appearances and meet with a counselor for several months. If any part of the program is not followed exactly, one's case may be sent back to criminal court for prosecution.

The drug court rules and regulations are many and they are quite strict. Again, compliance is mandatory if one is wanting to take this route. Some program rules include:

  • No drug or alcohol use is permitted.
  • Participants must be employed.
  • Participants must comply with curfew requirements.
  • Participants must attend court ordered appearances.
  • Participants must allow home visits and inspections.

These are just a few requirements specific to the Horry County drug court program. Within South Carolina, there are different drug court programs, depending on the county in which one lives. If it is needed, it may be possible to switch to another drug court in the state; however, it is the treatment team's decision.

At the end of the day, the drug court program in South Carolina has helped numerous individuals overcome addiction and move forward to lead productive lives. While helping these individuals, this program has also reduced criminal justice system costs by keeping people out of jail. Those who would like to have their cases moved to drug court may make the request in criminal court with the assistance of legal counsel.

Source: horrycounty.org, "Horry County Drug Court", Accessed on June 10, 2016

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