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Drug Court

The State of Iowa has adopted a tough stance on drug crimes over the years. Simply possessing a controlled substance can yield harsh penalties including incarceration and expensive conviction fines. While these consequences were put in place originally to deter offenders, drug-related arrests and controlled substance-related convictions increased, nonetheless. To combat this issue, several counties in Iowa have implemented drug court programs that focus on rehabilitation rather than punishment for drug offenders.

Adult drug courts are county-run programs that aid non-violent offenders who are facing drug-related charges. These programs put a large emphasis on therapy, in and outpatient treatment, and recovery rather than punitive sentences. Drug offenders must plead “guilty,” in order to participate in drug court as they follow a post-adjudication model. However, instead of facing a jail or prison sentence, the defendant will be court ordered to participate in the program. Successful completion of the program will result in full dismissal of the defendant’s criminal offenses. To learn more, speak to a qualified Iowa drug court attorney at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C..

Polk County Drug Court Attorney | Des Moines, IA

Participation in an Iowan drug court program can be a valuable opportunity if you’ve been charged with a drug crime. The program’s requirements may be extensive, but they are much more manageable than the statutory penalties. The program also guarantees a positive outcome if you complete all required criteria in a timely manner. To learn more about these programs, we highly recommend you contact our legal team at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C..

If you wish to enter drug court, you will need experienced legal representation from an experienced drug defense attorney. The attorneys at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. have years of experience assisting their clients and advocating for their participation in various Iowa drug courts including those in Polk County and Dallas County.

Call today at (515) 279-9700 or simply submit an online contact form to schedule your first consultation. McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. represents people throughout the Polk and Dallas County area including Adel, West Des Moines, Polk City, Minburn, Winsor Heights and Dexter.

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Polk County Iowa Drug Court

The Fifth Judicial District has a drug rehabilitation program for eligible offenders known as The Intensive Supervision Court Program, also commonly referred to as “Drug Court.” It’s a 15-month program composed of representatives from the Fifth Judicial System, Community Based Corrections and Treatment Community. The ultimate goal of the program is to directly address any addiction/substance abuse issues that lead to the defendant’s criminal behavior through therapy and holistic treatment.

The program is divided into a screening process and then five successive phases. Each phase of the program requires various activities that are designed to address the participant’s recovery needs. It also allows the eligible offender to adjust to their new lifestyle, which representatives of the Drug Court will observe and measure throughout every step of the process. Participants must remain in a phase until they have officially completed all the obligations associated with it, and they may be returned to a previous phase if they relapse.

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Eligibility for Polk County Drug Court

Although drug court is an alternative for those convicted of controlled substance-related crimes, it does not mean anyone is eligible. In order to participate in Polk County’s Drug Court, the defendant must fit the following criteria.

  • Be currently on probation for a felony or misdemeanor and are arrested on new charges, or have a report of violations pending
  • No prior forcible felony convictions on their record
  • Defendants that would go to prison if they didn’t participate in the program
  • Defendants without a long or significant history of mental illness
  • No history of violence or weapons
  • Is an addict who engages in criminal conduct to continue their dependence to a controlled substance, not a criminal who just happens to use drugs from time to time
  • No out of state or out of county charges/parole/probations
  • Defendants with a history of substance abuse, which has resulted in serious health and/or financial issues
  • Defendants who are willing to participate in the program and recover

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The Phases of Polk County Drug Court

Polk County’s ISP program consists of five phases, and all of the phases can be completed at a minimum in 90 days. Participants must comply with all the requirements of each phase before they can succeed to the next one. If deemed necessary, the Drug Court Judge and staff may impose sanctions at any level of the program.

  • Phase I: Stabilization:
    • The TASC officer will provide initial reports of the defendant’s progress. The participant will also be obligated to complete several requirements based on the TASC’s treatment plan. These requirements may include: Residential, Medically Monitored, Outpatient, One-on-One counseling, UA testing twice a week, face to face meetings weekly with TASC, enter into Treatment Referral made by TASC and other types of 12-step meetings.
    • The participant’s Probation Officer will conduct weekly face to face contact with the defendant, ensure they abide by curfew rules, electronic monitoring and/or surveillance checks, verify they attended required meetings, report as necessary to provide urinalysis samples, etc.
    • The judge will review these reports and take action to ensure the defendant is going through the recovery process
  • Phase II: Recovery
    • Offenders will call the UA hotline daily to report for urinalysis at a designated center. They must also attend two to three face-to-face meetings with the TASC officer every month. In addition, they must complete Treatment and Twelve step meetings.
    • Must have weekly face to face contact with a Probation Officer, abide by curfew rules, electronic monitoring service and surveillance checks, obtain safe housing and peer relationships.
  • Phase III: Abstinence
    • Treatment options during this phase include: Aftercare, Outpatient, Relapse, Halfway House or One on One Counseling, Attending or finishing treatment, face to face meetings with TASC officer monthly, continue oh the phase UA Monitoring System.
    • Bi-weekly face to face contact with PO, abide by curfew, remain employed, work on community service, pay all associated fees and fines.
  • Phase IV: Pre-Release
    • The participant must meet with the TASC office 1-2 times a month and never miss an appointment. All treatment must be 100% completed.
    • Monthly face to face contact with PO, must finish all court ordered requirements, must still abide by curfew, verification and documentation of the defendant’s full-time employment, stable home and stable transportation, all community service must be completed, and Supervision fees paid in full
  • Phase V: Support
    • The final step prior to the defendant’s graduation, where the defendant must sign a new contract named DC-F15. The contract states the defendant will abide by the following rules:
      • Call the UA hotline daily
      • Appear in court every five weeks during phase 5
      • See PO once a month
      • Call their Defense Attorney once a month
      • Call the Judge or Assistant County Attorney once per month
      • Attend Alumni support meetings
      • Continue all 12-step meetings and maintain contact with sponsor
      • Have contact with one person per week with one of the above

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Dallas County Iowa Drug Court Programs

Dallas County has several specialty courts that address those struggling with substance abuse. These programs may have differing eligibility requirements and length, but all of them take a rehabilitative approach when it comes to participants. D.I.V.E.R.T (also known as Diversion and Expedited Rehabilitation and Treatment) is a 12-18-month integrated program for those struggling with drug addiction. In order to participate, defendants must meet the following requirements:

  • Was charged with a felony drug offense with no prior criminal history
  • The arrest and offense were non-violent
  • The defendant has a clear co-dependency with a controlled substance(s).

A.I.M (Achieve, Inspire, Motivate) is another program lasting around 9-18 months. The goal of the program is to provide effective treatment for non-violent felony offenders who may need support in multiple areas of life including employment, life skills, and/or substance abuse.

In order to participate, the defendant must fit the following criteria:

  • Have an un-adjudicated non-violent felony charge
  • Prior to their current charge, the defendant never has been charged with a felony
  • The defendant is aged 17-24

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Additional Resources

Polk County IA Drug Court Information – Visit the official website for the Fifth Judicial District to learn more about their various drug court services. Access the site to learn more about their ISP program, the various phases of the program, the screening process, how to sign up, and other important information you may need.

Dallas County IA Drug and Specialty Courts – Visit the official website for Dallas County to learn more about their Drug and Specialty Courts. Access the site to learn the requirements for D.I.V.E.R.T, A.I.M, and treatment centers for defendants charged with drug crimes.

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Iowa Drug Court Attorney | Polk County & Dallas County

The attorneys at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. have been defending clients charged with violations of local and State drug laws for years. They have assisted many of their clients by advocating for their participation in a drug court program so they can avoid possible incarceration. The court doesn’t admit all drug offenders to these programs, so it’s incredibly important you have someone with legal experience on your side.

Call (515) 279-9700 or simply submit an online contact form if you’re facing charges for a drug-related crime. McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. has offices in West Des Moines, but we accept clients throughout the greater Polk County and Dallas County.

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