Texas Drug Courts

A drug court is a specialty and problem-solving court that follows a federally-supported drug court model, and any individual who is facing drug charges in Denton County should contact a drug court attorney. Texas House Bill 1287 required every county in Texas with a population of more than  550,000 people to establish a drug court in 2001 and also mandated compliance for such counties as Dallas County, El Paso County, Harris County, Tarrant County, Hidalgo County, Bexar County, and Travis County.

Montgomery County, Fort Bend County, and Jefferson County were counties that also created drug courts despite not being required to take such actions. The Denton County drug court was established in 2016 and celebrated its five-year anniversary in October 2021.

texas drug courts

Drug Court Defense Lawyer in Denton, Frisco, Lewisville, Flower Mound, TX

If you were arrested for any kind of drug crime, you need to invest in legal counsel. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you navigate the occasionally complicated requirements of complying with drug court procedures.

Contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today at (940) 222-8004 for a consultation about your alleged offense in Denton, Frisco, Lewisville, Flower Mound, and surrounding areas of Denton County, Texas.

Drug Courts in Denton County

Denton County lists several different specialized treatment court programs, which include:

  • First Offender Drug Program (FODP) — A treatment program designed to improve the efficiency of the criminal courts by diverting low-risk first-time drug offenders to a court-supervised program. The program aims to increase sobriety among drug offenders and reduce the costs to the community. Criminal cases may be dismissed and eligible for expunction upon successfully completing the program.
  • Denton County Drug Court — A program providing intensive supervision and treatment to high-risk felony offenders who abuse drugs but have a genuine desire to break their cycle of addiction. The Denton County Drug Court is divided into four phases, and participants must successfully complete every phase to the satisfaction of the Treatment Team before they can progress to the next phase. Random drug testing will be performed throughout the program, and the ultimate goal will be to give participants the necessary foundation to maintain their recovery and reintegrate into their families and communities.
  • Veterans Treatment Court Program (VTCP) — The VTCP is an intensive program designed to treat veterans suffering from combat-related mental conditions that contributed to a criminal offense. Veterans who honorably served their country and suffered the effects of their service participate in a serious three-phase rehabilitation program focused on long-term recovery. They are given the opportunity to clear their record of the criminal charge upon successful completion of the treatment program.
 

The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) for the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) also identifies the Denton County Drug Treatment Court Enhancement Program, which provides financial and technical assistance to states, state and local courts, units of local government, and federally recognized Indian tribal governments to implement and enhance the operations of their adult drug courts and veterans treatment courts. The program supports efforts by state, local, and tribal courts to address the needs of people in the criminal justice system who have substance abuse issues. 

The focus of the program is reducing opioid, stimulant, and substance abuse. BJA allows award recipients to implement or enhance the most appropriate drug court model to accommodate the needs and available resources of their jurisdictions, so long as their model conforms to the 10 key components and the evidence-based program principles in the nationally-recognized drug court standards.

Denton County Drug Court Requirements

The Denton County Drug Court provides intensive supervision and treatment to alleged high-risk felony offenders who abuse drugs but have a genuine desire to break their cycle of addiction. Participants remain in the program for an average of 18 to 24 months, and random drug testing is performed throughout the program.

To be eligible for Denton County Drug Court, an alleged offender must:

  • Have a Denton County case
  • Live in Denton County
  • Plead guilty
  • Have drug dependence
  • Be facing felony charges
  • Have no prior or pending “3G” offenses (term relating to Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 42.12(3)(g))
  • Not be on supervision in any other jurisdiction
  • Not be currently on parole
  • Not be a sex offender
  • Have no major impairments
  • Have at least 24 months remaining on supervision if currently on probation
  • Have or obtain current substance abuse evaluation requiring treatment
 

Candidates for the Denton County Drug Court must have a criminal defense lawyer, and they can be referred through the Denton County District Attorney’s Office, Denton County Sheriff, Denton County Community Supervision Department, family, friends, or their criminal defense attorney. After a referral is made, the Denton County District Attorney’s Office must agree to allow the alleged offender to be considered for the Drug Court.

Before attending a screening interview, an alleged offender will need:

  • To sign Drug Court Program Requirements 
  • A signed authorization disclosing protected health information
  • A signed waiver and release for the Drug Court Screening Report
  • A completed Drug Court data sheet
  • A completed financial profile
  • Proof of insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits
 

The four phases of the Denton County Drug Court program are stabilization, orientation, and assessment, intensive treatment, transition, and after care. To move from Phase 1 to Phase 2, an alleged offender will need to attend all meetings and appointments required under their integrated treatment plan, have no new arrests or probation violations for 30 days, completely abstain from alcohol and drugs for 30 days, be employed or show positive results to vocational or educational goals, and have no unexcused absences from scheduled services for 30 days.

To move from Phase 2 to Phase 3, an alleged offender must attend all Drug Court settings required by a court, attend all appointments with a supervision officer, complete any remaining classes, have no positive drug test for 45 days, have no unexcused absences from scheduled services for at least 60 days, and no new arrests or probation violations. To move from Phase 3 to Phase 4, an alleged offender must have no unexcused absences from scheduled services for 90 days, no new arrests or probation violations, have no positive drug test and no unexcused absences from drug testing for 120 days, comply with all requirements of their integrated treatment plan, and maintain safe and stable housing.

Eligibility for the First Offender Drug Program relates to possession of less than 1 gram or 1-4 grams of a controlled substance, possession of less than 28 grams of a controlled substance in a Drug Free Zone for Penalty Groups 3 and 4, or possession of 4 to 400 grams of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 2. An applicant cannot have prior convictions, any current or past community supervision or deferred adjudication, and no pending cases for offenses other than Class C misdemeanors.

Alleged offenders get one appearance in court, and they will report to the Denton County Community Supervision Department the day before court to submit to a urinalysis, complete their plea agreement, and complete admission paperwork. The felony program lasts 180 days and requires alleged offenders to provide two clean urinalysis samples every month and two clean hair drug test samples in addition to completing short-term education or chemical dependency classes.

Denton County Drug Court Resources

Texas Drug Courts | Texas Department of Criminal Justice — View a document from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice discussing what drug courts are as well as their history in Texas. Also learn more about how drug courts operate and how they receive funding. You can also find information about the drug court effectiveness and the expansion of officers into satellite administrative courts.

Denton County to apply for drug court grant | Community Impact — This 2020 story discusses Denton County submitting an application to Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s office for a $71,833 grant that was intended to benefit the Denton County Drug Court Program. Some of the court’s services were currently covered by a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), but the additional grant from the governor’s office would go toward services not already covered by the SAMHSA grant, including counseling, training and program evaluation. County commissioners unanimously approved the submission at a February 25 meeting.

Find A Denton County Defense Attorney for Drug Charges | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy

Were you recently arrested for a drug offense anywhere in Denton County? Do not delay in finding yourself a criminal defense lawyer who can help you investigate possible defenses against your criminal charges and possibly get you eligible for a drug court program that could allow for a much more favorable outcome to your criminal case.

Our firm understands how to help people qualify for drug court programs in Texas and can work to make sure that you can achieve the most favorable possible outcome to your case. Contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today at (940) 222-8004 for a consultation about your alleged offense in Denton, Frisco, Lewisville, Flower Mound, and surrounding areas of Denton County, Texas.