As is the case in other parts of New York, residents of White Plains who have the misfortune of being accused of a drug possession crime or even, in some cases, selling or manufacturing drugs can attempt to get involved in the local drug court or participate in another type of diversion program.

The details and eligibility requirements of these programs can vary from court to court and also depend on the facts of a person’s case and other circumstances, such as the person’s criminal record. Therefore, specific questions about White Plains drug courts and diversion programs should be addressed to an attorney with experience in criminal law.

In general, though, the idea of a drug court or diversion program is to allow someone charged with a non-violent drug offense avoid a lengthy jail sentence or, in some cases, escape getting convicted of a crime altogether.

Assuming a person is eligible to participate in the program and the prosecutor agrees to admit the person, he or she will generally have to stay of trouble with the criminal justice system for a period of time and may have to perform other obligations. Costs and fees may also apply.

As word of caution, though, a person who participates in one of these programs may have to formally plead guilty to a charge, or, at a minimum, sign a written confession in order to participate in the program. If they then fail to complete the diversion program successfully, the prosecutor may ask for, and the judge might give, a harsher punishment then what a person would have received if they did not participate in the diversion program at all.