An addiction can impact every area of your life, even before you find yourself dealing with legal consequences. Once law enforcement officers get involved and you wind up charged with a crime, your addiction could very well completely derail your future.
A conviction related to addiction, even if you are only accused of possession, could impact your ability to obtain student aid if you want to go back to school and keep you out of a good job. It could even prevent you from volunteering at your child's school as a chaperone for a field trip.
Fighting a conviction in court isn't always easy, but defending against the charge isn't your only option. You may also be able to work with the Illinois drug court system to seek treatment instead of criminal prosecution.
You will still likely spend time in a secure facility
One of the most common misconceptions about drug court is that people think they can walk away with a slap on the wrist and probation. Going to drug court usually requires acknowledging that you have a substance abuse problem. Then, the judge can choose to send you to a rehabilitation facility instead of sending you to a criminal trial.
If you successfully comply with the requirements at that facility, you can then avoid the conviction, jail time and criminal record that come with drug offenses. That can be a much better option for someone trying to rebuild their life after a struggle with addiction. However, it isn't the same thing as walking free after you leave court.
In most drug court cases, you will need to prepare yourself for the rehabilitation process. Chances are good that you will spend from one to 18 months in a facility that governs everything from what foods you eat to when you sleep. You will have to attend individual and group therapy sessions and remain sober.
Drug court can help you get your life back on track
Although spending time in a secured facility probably isn't anyone's idea of a good time, drug court could actually be one of the best things to happen to you. Getting arrested can serve as a wake-up call to individuals headed down a dangerous life path. The rehabilitation services you receive through the drug courts can help you get and stay clean for the rest of your life.
Overcoming an addiction isn't easy, but therapy and other rehabilitation services can make it easier for you to do so. Whether you struggle with a heroin addiction or dependence on another substance, it may be time to sit down and talk with your attorney about whether drug court is an option in your pending criminal charges.