New York is among the many states that have established drug courts to handle the overwhelming load of cases being filed against those facing lower to moderate level drug charges. This helps court personnel focus on the problem and potentially reduce the level of recidivism for those who have found themselves in a cycle of drug use and being arrested for that activity. There are indeed some drug court advantages for New York defendants.
Opportunity for treatment
One of the major advantages for those who find themselves in court regarding drug charges is potential treatment for their addiction that may not be available without being criminally charged. Cases are assessed by professional addiction counselors who can prescribe a course of action to either end the cycle or help those who need medications to cope with valid medical issues.
Some defendants who complete a substance education program are eligible for having their case set up for deferred prosecution with a potential for a dismissal of the charges. A criminal conviction for a drug crime can have a life-long impact for the defendant, and the diversion can avoid this predicament completely.
Aside from a possible deferred judgement, defendants could also be eligible for probation if they have not had a prior conviction. Actually, probation can still be granted in minor cases where the defendant has a usage history but is making progress with controlling any addiction problems they may still have. Probation typically includes regular drug testing.