Drug Court – Eligibility and procedure

What is Drug Court?

Drug Court – Eligibility and procedure

What is the Drug Court?

The Drug Court is a separate division of the Magistrates’ Court that provides for supervised treatment of offenders who have committed crimes while under the influence of drugs or alcohol or their offending is motivated by their drug or alcohol addiction. The Drug Court currently operates as part of the Melbourne and Dandenong Magistrates’ Courts.  

Who is eligible for Drug Court?

There are specific preconditions that must be met for a person to enter the Drug Court process.

  • You must not be subject to any other current Court order (eg: parole, CCO)
  • You must be pleading guilty to the charges
  • Your usual place of residence must be within the postcode area serviced by the Drug Court
  • The offences you committed must be within the sentencing jurisdiction of the Magistrates’ Court
  • The offence must not be a sexual offence or a charge involving infliction of actual bodily harm on  a person
  • You must be dependent on drugs or alcohol or your addiction to drugs or alcohol contributed to your motivation for offending

What is a Drug Court Sentence?

A Drug Treatment Order can be for up to two years incorporating two parts:

  • Treatment and supervision; and
  • Imprisonment

The term of imprisonment imposed must not exceed two years. That term is not immediately served but rather held in lieu of compliance with the treatment component of the Drug Treatment Order. Treatment will include regular urine screening, engagement with Court ordered drug treatment and regular attendances at Court for supervision of progress on the order.   A Drug Court Sentence can be breached by reoffending or non-compliance with conditions of treatment. Consequences for breach include cancellation of the DTO and resentencing on the original charges.