What Is Drug Court In Oklahoma?

Drug Court In Oklahoma
In Oklahoma, drug court is an immediate and highly-structured judicial intervention process for substance abuse treatment of eligible offenders that expedite the criminal case and requires successful completion of a plea agreement. Drug courts are typically set up for individuals charged with felonies, but counties may also establish a misdemeanor drug court. The statutes that cover drug court in Oklahoma are 22 O.S. §§ 471–472.

Who Is Eligible For Drug Court in Oklahoma?

The following is a list of requirements for admission into drug court:

  1. The offender’s arrest or charge does not involve a crime of violence against any person, unless there is a specific treatment program in the jurisdiction designed to address domestic violence and the offense is related to domestic violence and substance abuse;
    1. The offender’s arrest or charge does not involve a crime of violence against any person, unless there is a specific treatment program in the jurisdiction designed to address domestic violence and the offense is related to domestic violence and substance abuse;
    2. The offender has no prior felony conviction in Oklahoma or another state for a violent offense within the last 10 years, except as may be allowed in a domestic violence treatment program authorized by the drug court program;
    3. The offender’s arrest or charge does not involve a violation of the Trafficking In Illegal Drugs Act;
    4. The offender has committed a felony offense; and
    5. The offender:
      1. Admits to having a substance abuse addiction,
      2. Appears to have a substance abuse addiction,
      3. Is known to have a substance abuse addiction,
      4. The arrest or charge is based upon an offense eligible for drug court, or
      5. Underwent an offender screening and the assessment recommends drug court.

    The prosecutor must also approve the offender’s admission into drug court. After receiving the prosecutor’s approval, the drug court staff must then approve the offender’s admission. Once all the necessary parties approve of the offender’s admission, the offender will sign a plea agreement. The plea agreement will state the outcome upon the successful and unsuccessful completion of drug court. The offender will then plead guilty to the charge(s) in front of the drug court judge and enter drug court. The offender’s attorney will typically withdraw, and a public defender will be appointed to represent the offender while in drug court.

    What Happens In Drug Court?

    Drug court lasts between six and 24 months. The period of supervision after drug court may last six months–one year; it may be extended by up to six months.

    The offender will be given a treatment plan. They must attend treatment and be subject to random drug tests. Regular court appearances are required. Relapses and restarts are considered part of the offender’s rehabilitation and recovery process. The court may modify a treatment plan that is not benefitting the offender. Relapses are addressed through progressive sanctions or incentives, rather than removing the offender—unless the conduct requires revocation.

    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if the driving privileges of the offender have been suspended, revoked, cancelled, or denied by the Department of Public Safety and if the drug court judge determines that no other means of transportation for the offender is available, the drug court judge may enter a written order requiring the Department of Public Safety to stay any and all such actions against the Class D driving privileges of the offender.

    If the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the offender has violated the plea agreement or performance contract, and sanctions have been insufficient to gain compliance, the offender will be terminated from drug court and sentenced per the plea agreement.

    What Happens After A Defendant Completes Drug Court?

    When an offender has successfully completed drug court, the criminal case against the offender will be:

    1. Dismissed if the offense was a first felony offense or misdemeanor; or
    2. If the offender has a prior felony conviction, the disposition will be as specified in the written plea agreement.

    The drug court judge may waive remaining fines, court costs, and fees upon successful completion if the court believes that continued payment would create a financial hardship for the offender. The judge may also waive any requirement that fines and costs be satisfied by the offender prior to their being eligible for a provisional driver license.

    Sources: 22 O.S. § 471.1, 22 O.S. § 471.2, 22 O.S. § 471.3, 22 O.S. § 471.4, 22 O.S. § 471.6, 22 O.S. § 471.9, 22 O.S. § 471.7, & 47 O.S. § 6-212

    For more information on Drug Court In Oklahoma, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Call (405) 633-3420 to speak with an attorney.