IS Drug Court Right For You?

Jennifer Witt

Certain individuals with felony criminal cases in Kitsap County may be eligible to enter into a treatment-based court program named Drug Court. The purpose of the program is to offer non-traditional and individualized treatment for chemical dependency as an alternative to criminal prosecution. To qualify for Drug Court, the participant’s level of substance dependence must be such that treatment and education will substantially benefit both the participant and the community.

Drug Court Eligibility:

A. The prospective participant must live within Kitsap County for the duration of the program and have an active drug addiction and would benefit from substance abuse treatment. The addiction was a contributing factor to the commission of the crime that brings the prospective participant before the Court.

B. The prospective participant will be DENIED admission if any one of the following offenses is charged in the current case:

1. Any sex offense
2. Any serious or violent offense
3. Manufacture of Methamphetamine
4. Promoting Prostitution
5. Any offense including allegation of discharging of a weapon
6. Any offense resulting in death or great bodily harm
7. Domestic Violence offenses (but there are exceptions)
8. Delivery of a controlled substance to a minor
9. If the prospective participant is currently serving a DOSA or FOSA sentence
10. Prior Adult Drug Court or Veteran’s Court graduate (some exceptions apply)
11. Evidence of gang affiliation
12. Currently or very recently working with law enforcement as a confidential informant
13. Violent Traffic Offenses or Felony DUI
14. A restitution obligation that exceeds or will likely exceed $2,000.

C. The prospective participant will be DENIED admission if the have any of the following criminal histpry:

1. Any Sex offense
2. Any Class A or serious violent offense
3. Any violent offense within the last 10 years
4. Promoting Prostitution
5. Convictions with gang enhancements within the last 10 years
6. Four or more DV felony convictions or six or more gross misdemeanor or misdemeanor DV convictions within the last 10 years
7. Currently a registered sex offender

D. The prospective participant will be PRESUMPTIVELY DENIED if:

1. Current offense is a Residential Burglary where the victim was home
2. More than one prior conviction for Residential Burglary within the last 5 years.
3. Three or more DV offenses within the last 5 years (felony or misdemeanor)
4. The current offense involves allegations of or prior convictions for major economic offenses
5. Major drug crimes
6. Assault 3 on a Law Enforcement Officer

E. Other factors that may affect eligibility:

1. Significant criminal history, including juvenile history
2. The age of the criminal history
3. The victims wishes
4. History of compliance while the prospective participant was on other probation or supervision programs
5. How the prospective participant embraced other opportunities at recovery
6. Whether it is a major crime as determined by the Prosecutor’s Office
7. History of failures to appear, bench warrants etc
8. Prior Adult Drug Court participation
9. The presence of any aggravating circumstances
10. The presence of severe medical issues or mental disorder that would make it difficult for the participant to comply with the Drug Court rules and regulations

How Drug Court Works

If the prospective participant is accepted into the program, they must fully embrace the structure and team dynamic of the program. The program is typically a year but may be longer depending on the progress of the participant. Upon completion of the program, the Court will dismiss the pending criminal charges. A participant’s failure to adhere to the terms of the Drug Court Program will result in termination from the program and prosecution for the underlying offenses. At the outset of the program, the participant stipulates to facts sufficient for a determination of guilt, so upon termination from the program, the participant is convicted of the crime(s) and sentenced.


The Drug Court program costs $1,500. Payment for treatment services will be based on an ability to pay, availability of medical coupons and of private insurance.

Witt Law Group is a criminal defense and DUI defense law firm with offices in Bremeton and Gig Harbor Washington. Behavioral Health Court or any mental illness can be a difficult thing to talk about. Call our office for a private, discrete conversation with one of our attorneys to see if BHC is a good fit for you.