People with substance use disorders may find themselves involved with the criminal legal system.
Whether these people are facing drug charges or are completing court-ordered addiction treatment programs, they may need legal advice and assistance.
Do Rehab Programs Offer Legal Assistance?
Yes, some drug and alcohol rehab centers do offer assistance with legal issues. How they do this depends on the addiction treatment center.
Some treatment centers offer referrals to legal counsel and assistance, but it’s more common for a rehab center to offer practical help.
Treatment programs may help you or your loved one address legal issues through:
- a case manager
- court-ordered addiction treatment programs
- DUI treatment programs
- legal assistance for specific populations
If you are looking for substance abuse treatment but are facing legal consequences for alcohol- or drug-related charges, read on to learn more.
Legal Assistance Through A Case Manager
One of the most common ways that addiction treatment facilities offer legal assistance is through case managers.
A case manager at a rehab center is a professional who guides you through the treatment process while connecting you with the services that you need.
If the rehab center offers legal help, your case manager makes that happen by keeping communication open with relevant authorities while you have limited access to a phone.
Your case manager helps you communicate with:
- court administrators
- your lawyer
- your probation officer
With your permission, your case manager may also write letters on your behalf stating that you are receiving substance abuse treatment.
Help Attending Court Dates
Another way that inpatient treatment centers may offer legal assistance is by helping you attend court dates.
These treatment centers will excuse you from the normal schedule so that you can attend your court dates, typically offering transportation assistance as well.
Court-Ordered Addiction Treatment
If you are facing court-ordered addiction treatment, drug court officials will usually assign you a rehab center or give you a list of approved treatment centers to choose from.
This means that your rehab center should be well-equipped to deal with court-related issues because they focus on this kind of treatment for alcohol and drug abuse.
These treatment centers are used to receiving clients through the court system and are able to communicate with the courts regarding your treatment progress.
They can also provide a certificate of program completion for you so that court officials know that you have completed this requirement.
Treatment Services In A Court-Ordered Recovery Program
You will receive many of the same addiction treatment services in a court-ordered recovery program as you would in one for the general population.
Treatment services in court-ordered recovery programs may include:
- outpatient treatment
- inpatient treatment
- peer support
- support groups
- medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for alcohol or opioid addiction
- family therapy
- treatment for co-occurring mental health disorders
Other mental health issues often co-occur with addiction. The treatment of co-occurring mental health disorders helps clients recover from both conditions at the same time.
DUI Treatment Programs
If you are facing a driving under the influence charge (DUI) due to alcohol use, you may be able to help your situation by seeking treatment for alcohol addiction.
The court may also assign you to a DUI treatment program at a rehab center. Participating in a DUI program may help your case because clinicians or case managers will document your progress.
They are usually willing to write a letter of recommendation to the court regarding your progress in the program, certifying how many days you have been sober.
This kind of documentation and support may help lessen charges when you are assessed at a court hearing.
Specialized Legal Assistance
Some rehab centers may offer referrals to specialized legal services for certain populations they serve.
For example, treatment centers for first responders may have connections with lawyers or law students able to provide legal services for these professionals, who often experience trauma and burnout, which could contribute to substance abuse.
Trauma is also a risk factor for addiction among veterans. Veterans eligible for U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits may be able to receive legal assistance by a referral through the VA.
Find Substance Abuse Treatment Today
Are you or a family member looking for addiction treatment? Call Addiction Resource today for information about available treatment options and how to access them.
Published on September 22, 2023
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- VA - Office of General Counsel