When you face drug charges, the consequences of a conviction will be fines, jail time and a lifelong criminal record. Having a criminal record involving drugs can limit someone for the rest of their life because of the stigma such charges carry.
First-time nonviolent offenders frequently qualify for pretrial diversion through the Colorado drug courts. Someone may qualify if their offense is the first one on their record and they have a chemical dependence issue that contributed to their offense.
Drug court is different than criminal court
In criminal proceedings, the focus is on determining guilt or innocence and then assigning punishment as necessary. Drug court often involves counseling, drug testing and frequent meetings with judges to achieve rehabilitation instead.
If you successfully complete the drug court proceedings, you don’t have a criminal record and won’t serve any criminal sentence. It is an excellent option for those who hope to avoid a criminal record. Unfortunately, many defendants don’t know about the drug court unless their attorney suggests the option.
If your lawyer told you to plead guilty and never mentioned drug court, that might be legal malpractice.
Will other lawyers agree it was a mistake?
When trying to prove professional negligence, establishing what other reasonable professionals in the same field would do is essential. You’ll find that most law students understand how important pretrial diversion can be for someone facing a first-time drug offense in Colorado.
When a lawyer fails to do what other attorneys would find appropriate and reasonable, their advice to you may have been inadequate or contrary to your best interests. You could potentially have grounds for a legal malpractice claim against the attorney involved.
Holding a lawyer accountable for legal malpractice can compensate you and give you a sense of vindication when their actions or choices directly affect your life.