Posted on May 01, 2024 in Drug Crimes

In many cases, people who are charged with drug crimes struggle with addiction, and they could benefit from treatment rather than penalties such as incarceration. The state of Wisconsin has recognized the impact of substance abuse on people and communities, and in some cases, it provides alternative sentencing options that will allow alleged offenders to receive treatment for drug addiction while avoiding criminal convictions.

Wisconsin has implemented Treatment Alternatives and Diversion (TAD) programs that aim to rehabilitate rather than punish, offering certain people charged with offenses such as drug possession the opportunity to complete treatment and specified conditions in lieu of the charges against them  reduced to a lesser charge or dismissed. An attorney who has experience representing people facing drug charges can provide guidance on what treatment alternatives and diversion options may be available.

What Are Drug Treatment Alternatives and Diversion Programs?

In some cases, people who have been charged with drug offenses may be able to participate in substance abuse treatment and rehabilitation programs instead of being convicted. This alternative approach focuses on recovery and addresses the underlying issues of drug addiction. The goal is to help improve public safety and ensure that people can move forward and avoid mistakes in the future without being affected by permanent criminal records.

Eligibility for Drug Treatment Alternatives and Diversion Programs in Wisconsin

Not all drug-related offenses in Wisconsin qualify for drug treatment alternative and diversion programs. Eligibility typically depends on the nature of the offense, the person’s criminal history, and the specific circumstances of the case. Generally, non-violent offenders with substance abuse problems are considered ideal candidates for TAD programs. First-time offenders will usually be able to participate in these programs to avoid criminal charges or dismiss or reduce certain charges. In situations involving drug addiction, it is vital for defendants to work closely with a knowledgeable Milwaukee criminal defense attorney to assess their eligibility and advocate for their inclusion in such programs.

Types of TAD Programs Available

Wisconsin’s TAD programs include a variety of rehabilitation options that are meant to meet the needs of people who are struggling with addiction, ensuring that they can take steps to prevent substance use in the future while avoiding criminal records that could limit their future opportunities. TAD programs may include

  • Pre-charge diversion programs: In cases where offenders are at low risk of committing drug crimes in the future after taking steps to address issues related to substance abuse, these programs will allow them to avoid criminal charges altogether. If they meet certain requirements, including completing a treatment program and refraining from committing any other criminal offenses during the term of their program, they will not be charged with a criminal offense. 
  • Post-charge diversion programs: In some cases, alleged offenders may be eligible for deferred prosecution. This option may be used if a person is determined to be a moderate to high risk for committing future offenses. A person will be required to complete a term of probation, which may include requirements such as receiving drug treatment. Successful completion of probation may result in the reduction or dismissal of drug charges. 
  • Drug court: These specialized courts integrate drug treatment services with strict monitoring, incorporating regular drug testing and court appearances to ensure that a person complies with all requirements and is making progress during their recovery. These programs provide an alternative to incarceration while focusing on promoting public safety

Contact Our Milwaukee, WI Drug Crimes Defense Attorneys

Drug charges can be very serious, and for people who are struggling with addiction, prison sentences or other penalties may not address the root causes of these issues or prevent them from committing other crimes in the future. At Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP, our Milwaukee drug charges lawyers can help determine what treatment programs may be available for those who are charged with drug possession or other related offenses. We will evaluate eligibility for different programs, ensure that you fully understand the requirements, and help you take steps to receive the proper treatment and complete all conditions successfully. To learn more about how we can help you address drug crimes, contact us today at 414-271-1440 and arrange a consultation with an experienced attorney.