What is Drug Treatment Court and how do I participate?

3. Start the DTC program

If the Crown lets you start Drug Treatment Court (DTC), then you:

  • complete an initial assessment
  • get a DTC , and
  • complete a 30-day DTC

Initial assessment

At your initial assessment, you answer questions about your addictions and your background. This doesn't take long. The DTC team suggests a treatment plan for you.

Plead guilty

After the assessment, you will likely plead guilty to some of your charges at your first appearance in DTC. You can only plead guilty if:

  • you admit your crime,
  • no one is pressuring you, and
  • you understand the consequences of pleading guilty, including giving up your right to a .

If your charges are less serious, such as possession of a small amount of drugs, instead of pleading guilty, the Crown might agree to withdraw your charges if you successfully complete DTC.

DTC bail

If you're in , you'll be released on a DTC bail so that you can complete the program. DTC bail conditions might include:

  • attend and participate in treatment
  • take random urine tests
  • try your best to stay sober, and be truthful about drug use

If you're already on bail, the judge cancels it and replaces it with a DTC bail. Your previous bail conditions are usually added to your DTC bail.

A DTC bail is usually your “”. This means that no one else, like a , is supervising you. And, you usually have to promise to pay a bond without making a cash deposit. This means that if you don't follow your bail conditions or you don't attend court, you might have to pay your bond amount to the court.

Sometimes the Crown only accepts some of your charges into DTC. If that happens, you'll have two bails: one for the DTC charges, and one for the rest of your charges.

If you don't follow your bail conditions you might be:

  • required to pay the court the amount of money that you promised
  • charged for breaching bail
  • kicked out of the DTC program

30-day DTC probation

After you're released on bail, you'll be on DTC probation for 30 days. You will complete a longer assessment so that you and the Crown can figure out if the DTC program is right for you. The Crown will monitor your appointment attendance, participation in the program, and urine tests. You may need to go to court up to twice a week.

At the end of 30 days, the Crown will tell you if you can continue with DTC. If you don't want to continue with DTC or if the Crown says you can't continue, you can either:

  • be sentenced by the judge who you originally pleaded guilty in front of, or
  • cancel your original and send your case back to regular court for a trial. You can still plead guilty in regular court later if you want to.

You should talk to a lawyer to help you decide what to do.

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