Young Marr remains dedicated to our clients during this COVID-19 quarantine. We understand that legal needs of our clients must go on during this time. In order to minimize disruption as much as possible, we are offering free consultations via phone and/or video and can have our clients submit documents virtually.

Do You Qualify for York County’s Drug Court Program?

In recent blog posts, our Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyers have been covering some of the different drug court programs offered throughout the state’s eastern counties. These special alternative programs offer drug offenders the chance to avoid jail, end probation, and seal their criminal records in exchange for successfully completing supervised treatment plans.  However, the rules, requirements, and eligibility criteria vary by county. In this post, we’ll be taking a look at the York County drug court program.  Could you qualify?

Eligibility Criteria for York County’s Drug Court Program

There are major benefits to participating in drug court.  Not only will you gain access to treatment resources and education and training programs, your charges will qualify to be reduced or even completely dismissed six months after you graduate.  Having your charges reduced or dismissed can make a world of positive difference when it comes to looking for jobs and applying for loans and housing.

Unfortunately, not everyone will qualify to participate in the program.  The following offenses are automatically disqualified:

Provided your offense is not on the list above, you also need to meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • You must be a York County resident.
  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must have a diagnosed substance abuse problem.  (Offenders with mental health disorders will also be considered.)
  • There can’t be any charges pending against you which would render you ineligible (such as a violent felony).

Note that in some rare cases, offenses which would normally be disqualified may be reviewed by the District Attorney for possible inclusion.  Even if you’re initially rejected, you may be able to get a second chance by filing for reconsideration within 30 days of being denied entry.  Even if you’re unsure about whether you qualify, it’s always worthwhile to speak with a criminal defense attorney about your situation and the potential options going forward.

Drug Law 1 - Do You Qualify for York County's Drug Court Program?

Requirements for Drug Court Program Participants

You can think of participation in the drug program as a trade.  In exchange for lightening or eliminating your charges once you graduate, the court system expects you to obey the program’s rules and requirements.

To begin with, you need to complete at least 12 months of treatment.  (Note that some offenders can take as long as 18 to 24 months to go through the program.)  The program is further broken down into three phases, whose requirements may include, but are not limited to:

  • Making all required court appearances.
  • Undergoing physical and mental health evaluations, and getting any medical care ordered.
  • Performing community service.  (Community service is broken up by phase, but you will need at least 50 hours to graduate from the program.)
  • Submitting to drug testing.
  • Meeting with your probation officer.
  • Receiving counseling.
  • Getting a sponsor.
  • Avoiding any additional arrests.
  • Finding employment.
  • Participating in program-approved “pro-social activities.”
  • Paying all of the required fines and fees.
  • Getting your GED (or supplying a copy of your high school diploma if you’ve already graduated).
  • Going to drug and/or alcohol support groups as ordered.

Drug testing is a particularly important component of the program, and participants are even required to check in on a daily basis to determine whether they will be tested the following day.  The drug testing schedule is as follows:

  • Monday through Friday:
    • 8:30 A.M. to 9:00 A.M.
    • 3:30 P.M. to 4:00 P.M.
  • Saturday and Sunday:
    • 9:30 A.M. to 11:30 A.M.

Why is this schedule so important to know?  If you miss a screening, it will be treated like a failed drug test.  

What Happens if You Violate the Rules?

If you violate the program’s rules, there can be harsh consequences.

Failing a drug test, for example, is a common violation.  If you fail a drug test, not only will you will be incarcerated for 48 hours, you can also be terminated from the program altogether.  If you are terminated, you will be investigated and given a new jail or prison sentence.  On a similar note, if you try to tamper with the results of a drug test, you will be charged with a new misdemeanor which could result in fines and jail time of its own — not to mention being ejected from the program and missing your opportunity to have your original charges dismissed.

In addition to the risk of being ejected from the program, there are other unpleasant consequences for lesser violations.  If you fail to comply with program requirements or are cited for anything deemed to be “inappropriate behavior,” you could be subject to:

  • Increased frequency of urine testing.
  • A greater degree of supervision.
  • Short-term incarceration.
  • Additional community service requirements.

On the other hand, outstanding participants can be rewarded with gift cards, bus passes, a decrease in overall supervision, being “moved up” in the phases completed, and being allowed to leave court appearances early.

Our Pennsylvania Drug Crimes Defense Lawyers Can Help

If you’ve been charged with a drug crime, the York County defense attorneys of Young, Marr & Associates can help.  To schedule a free and confidential case evaluation, call our law offices at (609) 755-3115 in New Jersey or (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania today.



icon car - Criminal Defense

Learn what to do if you have been stopped for DUI/DWI.

icon car - Criminal Defense

If this is your first DUI offense, you may be eligible for ARD.



Commonwealth v. "H" (DUI case)

Client was charged with three separate DUI cases calling for mandatory minimum imprisonment of 90 days on each case. Client was advised to seek immediate intensive alcohol counseling. Client was sentenced to 1 year of house arrest after serving 3 days in the county prison.


Commonwealth v. "C" (Felony drug/Firearms case)

Client was charged with felony Delivery of drugs and illegal gun possession and was facing a mandatory 3-6 year prison sentence in the State prison system. Client was sentenced to one year of house arrest.


Commonwealth v. "S"

Client was charged with simple assault, domestic. After a hearing where evidence and testimony was presented, the entire case was dismissed by Judge Leonard Brown.


State of New Jersey v. "H"

Charges for young man charged with second degree aggravated assault were downgraded to third degree and he was accepted into the County Pretrial Intervention program with charges to be dismissed and record expunged after one year of misconduct free behavior.


We have decades of experience dealing with local police departments, prosecutors, and judges throughout southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Anyone facing charges involving a criminal offense can expect to experience a heightened degree of emotional turmoil, for themselves, as well as their family members. Our team of highly qualified criminal law attorneys and expert legal support staff are committed to providing each of our client’s with the compassion and understanding they deserve, as well as an aggressive plan for representation at an affordable price.

As former prosecutors, we have a balanced and in-depth understanding of the criminal justice system and how the prosecution prepares cases. In addition, we have long-standing experience dealing with local police departments, prosecutors and judges throughout southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

At Young, Marr and Associates, when we say “experience matters,” we mean it. Our lawyers, which include two former prosecutors and a former senior deputy district attorney bring more than three decades of criminal law experience, handling more than 10,000 criminal cases. It is precisely that experience that allows us to achieve outstanding results for our clients facing DUI, traffic, felony and misdemeanor charges in state, federal and juvenile courts.