Drug courts were created by the New Jersey legislature to provide a rehabilitation alternative for drug offenders. They were intended to break drug addicts’ cycles of criminal activity and incarceration, and through intense probationary supervision, have the final chance to overcome these addictions and rejoin society. When a defendant completes treatment through the drug court, their criminal record can be expunged, and they no longer are forced to carry the stigma of a criminal record.

A recent court case, State vs K.S., revolved around a defendant who petitioned for drug court expungement. His petition was denied by the state on that basis that he was convicted during special probation for offenses committed prior to drug court sentencing.

The defendant was convicted of five offenses, including two violations of probation and drug court special probation. Before being sentenced to drug court, the defendant was charged with fourth-degree theft by unlawful taking and hindering apprehension; however, he was not found guilty of those offenses until after his sentencing in drug court. During his drug court special probation and after his graduation and discharge from drug court, he did not commit any new crimes.

Ultimately, the court ruled that the legislature did not intend to exclude a defendant who successfully completed drug court from expungements because of a charge incurred prior to drug court sentencing. The court granted the defendant’s petition for expungement, but warned that his criminal record could be reinstated and he could be disqualified from expungement if he commits any future crime.

If you or a loved one have questions about drug court and or drug court sentencing and what it entails, please feel free to reach out to the attorneys at Schwartz & Posnock. Our firm has handled Municipal Court, State, and Federal criminal cases throughout the Jersey Shore, in the Monmouth County Superior Court in Freehold, the Ocean County Superior Court in Toms River, the Atlantic County Superior Court in Atlantic City, New Jersey, the Essex County Superior Court in Newark, New Jersey, the Union County Superior Court in Elizabeth, New Jersey, the Middlesex County Superior Court in New Brunswick, the Morris County Superior Court in Morristown, New Jersey, the Hudson County Superior Court in Jersey City, New Jersey, the Mercer County Superior Court in Trenton, New Jersey, the Bergen County Superior Court, in Hackensack, New Jersey, and the Federal Courts in Newark, Trenton, and Camden, New Jersey for over thirty years. We have a proven track record of excellent results for our clients. Please contact us in any one of our convenient locations, including our Monmouth County office, located in Eatontown (at the Jersey Shore), our Essex County office, located in Livingston, our Union County office, located in Linden, or our Middlesex County office, located in East Brunswick, to discuss your case. You may call the experienced criminal defense attorneys of Schwartz & Posnock at 732-544-1460 or email us at info@schwartzposnock.com.