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What Is Drug Court in Horry County?

Horry County?

In Horry County, if you are charged with a Drug offense or other non-violent offense in General Sessions and are not eligible for Pre-Trial Intervention, you may be eligible for Drug Court.

Drug Court is an intensive judicially supervised treatment program for individuals who are addicted to or dependent on drugs, alcohol, or other controlled substances, who are committed to recovery, and who are willing and able to attend treatment activities and abide by the regulations of the treatment program. If the Drug Court program is successfully completed and you remain arrest free for an additional 180 days, your charge(s) will be dismissed.

Okay, but what actually is the Drug Court program?

Drug Court is a nine – eighteen (9-18) month program that involves attendance in self-help meetings, alcohol and drug screenings, treatment sessions, and visits with Drug Court staff. There are two levels of Drug Court. Level One Drug Court is a two-phase program. Level Two Drug Court is a five-phase program. Which level you enter is determined by the Prosecuting Attorney’s plea offer.

Drug Court requires participants to pay an initial registration fee of $100 and to attend a variety of treatment sessions. The number of sessions required depends on the Level and Phase of the program but can be as frequent as 3 times per week or as infrequent as once per month. In addition to the sessions, participants must get and maintain a job, complete a workbook, and give at least one presentation to their group. Participants must also submit to random searches of you, your home, and your vehicles (landlord must agree to home search) – no weapons, drugs, or paraphernalia allowed. You must also submit to random drug/alcohol screening. Finally, participants must be willing to adhere to a curfew during the initial phase(s) of the program. That curfew starts as early as 9:30pm.

Participation in the Drug Court Program is confidential. The goal of the program is to help participants recover from their addiction or dependence and change their future.

What do the Levels look like?

Level One Drug Court is a two-phase program. Participants will begin in Phase One, which lasts a minimum of 180 days or can last until completion if the participant receives a sanction. Phase One includes a 30-day Orientation, weekly sessions, a 9:30pm starting curfew and fees of $50/week. If Phase One is successful and participants complete all required objectives, they can move to Phase Two, Aftercare. Participants are expected to spend at least 60 days in Aftercare, which includes monthly sessions and fees of $30/week. A Participant is considered to have completed Level One Drug Court after a minimum of 270 total days, with at least 180 consecutive days w/ negative test results. Participants must have also completed all objectives and must not have a balance due with Drug Court.

Level Two Drug Court is a five-phase program. Like Level One, participants are able to move to the next phase only if they’ve completed all objectives of the previous phase. Participants begin with at least 90 days in Phase One, which includes a 30-day orientation, weekly sessions, a 9:30pm starting curfew and fees of $40/week. Phase Two is also a minimum of 90 days, but changes to bi-weekly sessions, a 12:00am curfew, and fees of $40/week. Then there’s another 90 days in Phase Three, with sessions every three weeks, a 1:00am curfew, and fees of $40/week. Aftercare in Level Two is Phase Four and typically lasts a minimum of 60 days. Aftercare involves monthly sessions and fees of $30/week.  The final phase of Level Two is ReEntry. Not all participants will transition into ReEntry, but those that do will have monthly sessions and fees of $20/week. To Complete Level Two Drug Court, participants must have 365 consecutive days with negative screenings and no past due balance.

It should be noted that there are a variety of ways that participants in Drug Court can be sanctioned, including for bad behavior, missed sessions, and positive drug/alcohol screenings. Positive drug test sanctions include a weekend in jail. Other sanctions can include fines, community service, or being returned to a previous Phase of the program. If a participant is re-arrested, they may be terminated from the program.

Is Drug Court a Good Option?

Drug Court in Horry County should not be entered into lightly. It is not easy, it’s not cheap, and it’s not right for everyone. The only way to know if Drug Court is a good option for you is to have a thorough and honest discussion with your attorney.

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