When people break the law, harsh punishment is not always the answer. In certain cases, there may be an underlying issue that caused the offender to commit the crime.
For this reason, many states adopt specialty courts for certain offenses, including driving under the influence. There are a few key things to understand about these courts in Arizona.
Specialty court programs
In short, a specialty court is a court that caters to offenders dealing with underlying addictions or issues. These courts are “problem-solving courts” because they work to treat the offender’s addiction in an attempt to prevent future offenses. Along with any jail time or probation, the offenders receive personal and group counseling, education or work assistance and additional services in accordance with the offense. Many different states implement these programs and express positive results.
DUI specialty courts offer offenders several advantages other than helping them pinpoint and address the core reason for drinking and driving. For instance, specialty courts can help participants live more satisfying and productive lives. Participation also commonly includes reduced sentencing.
Qualifying for drug court
Not every defendant is automatically approved for drug court program participation, mainly to better ensure that the program is successful. In addition to a screening process, program participants must also agree to increased supervision and monitoring. Those who participate in the program due to receiving felony charges for a DUI can earn a reduction of such charges after successfully finishing the program.
Besides DUI court, the state also offers a Veterans Court. This court focuses on veterans who return from military service and find themselves suffering from drug addiction, mental health issues or alcoholism. The goal of this specialty court is to help prevent veterans from harming themselves or other people.
While specialty courts do aid in helping offenders and not just punishing them, offenders must still account for their infractions. Thankfully, after fulfilling their debt to society and undergoing treatment, reports show that many participants in the specialty court program go on to live healthy, productive lives.