FAQ: Connecticut’s Drug Education Program
If you have been charged with drug possession or drug paraphernalia in Connecticut, you may be eligible for the Connecticut statutory privilege known as the Drug Education Program. The Drug Education Program (DEP) allows someone who is charged with drug possession or possession of drug paraphernalia in Connecticut to receive drug education or substance abuse treatment and perform community service instead of having their case prosecuted and potentially suffering a conviction. This Connecticut statutory privilege is not given to everyone. The first step is to be found eligible.
What do I agree to when I apply to the drug education program?
When you apply for DEP, you agree to the following:
- To give the state more time to prosecute you, (the tolling of any statute of limitations and waiver of the right to a speedy trial), if you do not successfully complete the Program.
- To begin the Drug Education Program within 90 days of the day that the court orders you into the program, unless the court gives you more time to start the program.
- You understand that the court will order an evaluation that will determine whether you must go to 15 sessions of a drug education program or at least 15 sessions of a substance abuse treatment program. The decision by the court as to whether to grant you the DEP will take place on a separate court date from the date when you apply.
- After finishing the program that the court orders, if the Court Support Services Division (CSSD) thinks you need more treatment, you agree to accept any additional treatment through a program recommended by a Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, (DMHAS), contractor, or the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs or the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, if you are a veteran.
- To follow any conditions that may be set up by DMHAS, the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs, or the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, concerning your participation in the Drug Education Program.
- You will take part in community service for at least five days if this is the first time that you have been allowed into this program, at least 15 days if this is second time, or at least 30 days if this is the third or additional time that you have been allowed into the program.
- To pay the court a non-refundable fee of $600, (subject to change by the legislature), to take part in the drug education program or $100, (subject to change by the legislature), to take part in a substance abuse treatment program. You understand that you must also pay for the costs of the substance abuse treatment program if you are ordered to take part in that program. If you cannot pay or are indigent, you will file with the court an affidavit telling the court why you cannot pay.
What happens after I’ve completed the Drug Education Program successfully?
The court will dismiss the charges against you after you have successfully completed the DEP program.
What happens if I need more time to complete the Drug Education Program?
Your attorney or law firm will have to file a motion and show good cause. The court may extend your program for a reasonable period to allow you to complete the program.
What are my reinstatement options for the Drug Education Program?
Per the statute, a person can be reinstated to the pretrial drug education and community service program twice. If a person requests reinstatement, Court Support Services Division (CSSD) verifies eligibility. If the court approves reinstatement, you will have to pay a nonrefundable fee of $250 and any associated costs.
What happens if I fail to comply or I’m not reinstated into the Drug Education Program?
The court must unseal the file, enter a plea of not guilty for you, and place the case on the trial list if:
- CSSD informs the court and the court determines that the person is ineligible for reinstatement or
- the program provider certifies that the person did not successfully complete the assigned program and was not reinstated.
What are the fees associated with the Drug Education Program?
- $100 application fee and a nonrefundable
- $150 evaluation fee
- $600 Drug Education Program fee if the program is granted or
- $100 to take part in a substance abuse treatment program, (treatment fees paid separately).
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