Will I Need a Substance Abuse Evaluation If I’m Facing DUI Charges?
Getting a DUI can be hard to handle on your own, especially if this is the first time you’ve ever been in trouble with the law. Having an experienced DUI attorney on your side can help make things easier. A skilled La Plata & Waldorf DUI & DWI lawyer will try to mitigate the charges against you and the consequences that you are facing. One of the ways they may do this is by having you complete a substance abuse evaluation. This will determine if you have deeper issues or if this was a one-time occurrence.
What Happens During a Substance Abuse Evaluation?
During a substance abuse evaluation, your evaluator will look at the Drug Abuse Screening Test Scoring System, also called a DAST. There are certain evaluation materials that will be used to evaluate you. They may ask things about your background, family history, and any addiction issues in your family. Using this information, they will provide a comprehensive review, as well as any progress the defendant has made through treatment. The Judge will be able to use this information to determine if they can trust the defendant with probation or if they need to have a steeper penalty.
Who Recommends and Administers Evaluations?
In most situations, your attorney will recommend you undergo an assessment. If your attorney doesn’t, the judge may order one before your appearance or after you have been on parole or probation. Evaluators must be licensed and certified by the Maryland Department of Health. There is a large number of providers and your attorney likely has a list of these that are located near you. They should also know which ones have a good reputation and are known by the courts. In some counties, public assessments can be done as well.
If your assessment indicates that you have a substance abuse issue, they will likely recommend treatment for you. They may also want to involve another person to evaluate your mental health. Look at it this way, if you are going to have to pay for an evaluation, you might as well get the full benefits of the treatment instead of just wasting your money and time. This could help your current situation and prevent additional ones down the road. Suggested treatment options may include a 12-hour drug and alcohol program, a 26-week or 48-week alcohol and drug program, or a course that has aftercare including AA meetings.
The Value of a Maryland DUI Attorney
If you are facing DUI charges, you need to work with an experienced DUI attorney. Not only will they know how to create the best possible defense strategy for you, but they will also be able to determine if you need to have a substance abuse evaluation as part of that strategy. Determining any possible course of treatment can help your attorney fight for a positive outcome for your charges.
The attorneys at the Law Office of Hammad S. Matin, P.A. have years of experience helping their clients fight DUI charges and we can help you too. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and let us help ensure your rights are protected.