Special Probation, N.J.S.A. 2c:35-14.1

Special Probation

Mandatory Drug Court


In 2012, the New Jersey Drug Court grew through a $2.5 million pilot program in three counties. This expanded the crimes that can be considered for drug court eligibility. Additionally, this made drug court mandatory for non-violent drug offenders. Furthermore, drug court costs less than imprisonment. Indeed, the state spends $42,000 annually per prison inmate. Drug courts, however, cost $11,300 per inmate, as reported by The Star Ledger.

Under the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice, every defendant must apply for Special Probation (Drug Court) if:

  1. the defendant may be a drug dependent person;
  2. the charge(s):
    1. carry a presumption of imprisonment; or
    2. are third degree for a defendant with a prior conviction of a crime subject to the presumption of imprisonment or that resulted in a State prison term; and
  3. the defendant is eligible for a special probation sentence.

Who Is A “Drug Dependent Person?”

Any of the following circumstances provide a reasonable basis to believe that a person may be drug dependent:

  1. the present offense involves a controlled dangerous substance;
  2. the defendant has previously been convicted of an offense involving a controlled dangerous substance, was admitted to pretrial intervention or supervisory treatment, or received a conditional discharge for a charge involving a controlled dangerous substance;
  3. defendant has any other pending charge in this State, any other state, or a federal court involving a controlled dangerous substance;
  4. the defendant has any time previously received any form of drug treatment or counseling;
  5. defendant appears to have been under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance during the commission of the present offense, or it reasonably appears that the present offense may have been committed to acquire property or monies to purchase a controlled dangerous substance for the defendant’s personal use;
  6. the defendant admits to the unlawful use of a controlled dangerous substance within the year preceding the arrest for the present offense;
  7. defendant has had a positive drug test within the last 12 months; or
  8. information, other than the above circumstances, which indicates the defendant may be a drug dependent person or would otherwise benefit by undergoing a professional diagnostic assessment.

New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Smolensky, Esq., knows how to protect his clients. Mr. Smolensky can provide consultations on all cases involving Drug Court. Call Now—(856) 812-0321.