The Mountain Judicial Circuit Accountability Court is a post-plea model, offered to eligible participants charged with (but not limited to) felony drug or related offenses. Entry into the program is completely voluntary Upon successful completion of program case may be dismissed, expunged or sentence modified.
Cases are heard in Stephens County on the first and third Tuesday of each month starting at 4 p.m. For more information talk to your Public Defender, Private Attorney or Accountability Court Coordinator 706-968-7735 cell and office 706-839-0345.
Typically, those found guilty of drug related offenses are sentenced to minimum five years to be served on probation, special conditions not limited to suspension of driver’s license, fines, fees, community service, drug screens, drug and alcohol assessment and follow up to the recommendations made in that assessment, etc.
Mountain Judicial Circuit Accountability Court is also offered as an alternative to revocation for those offenders who are on probation and may subsequently test positive for or are battling substance abuse. The probationer may enter the Accountability Court in lieu of incarceration that provides intensive rehabilitative services.
Mountain Judicial Circuit Accountability Court offers a program for those offenders who have a substance addiction and want help fighting it. For example, the first time an Accountability Court participant tests positive for drugs or alcohol, the sanction will likely be 24 hours in jail. The sanctions will be progressive in severity if violations continue.
After arrest, defendants are identified by defense attorney, family members or Accountability Court team member as potentially eligible for the Mountain Judicial Circuit Accountability Court Program.
The Mountain Judicial Circuit Accountability Court Treatment Team consists of the Judge, Coordinator, District Attorney, Felony Probation, Law Enforcement, Defense Attorney, and Treatment Provider. The Treatment Team determines who will be offered entry into the program.
There is a $175 per month fee. Counseling locations are set by the Treatment provider and schedules will be given to each participant. Confidentiality is a must. There will be severe consequences for any violation of this rule. This applies to both participants and staff of the Accountability Court.
All clients are required to have random alcohol/drug screens for the duration of their program. Drug testing is performed on a random basis; however, a breath, saliva, hair follicle or urine specimen may be required at any time.
Eligible participants will meet the following criteria:
- Currently facing, but not limited to felony charges due to substance abuse
- Meet criteria for high risk abuse or dependence
- At least 17 years old
- Presence in United States is legally documented
- May not reside with any individual (legally married or otherwise) that uses narcotic (prescribed or illegal)
- Must test positive for alcohol/drugs, obtain new alcohol/drug-related offenses, or refuse to provide specimen to be tested for alcohol/drugs
- Must have at least 18 to 24 months left on probation sentence
- Must be at least 17 years old
The following criteria disqualify an offender for the Mountain Judicial Circuit Accountability Court Program:
- Violent convictions or history as outlined under 42U.S.C 3797 u-2.
- Involvement in trafficking, manufacturing or multiple sale of narcotics
- Severe and/or untreated mental/physical health problem which would impede their ability to actively participate in and complete the intensive program
- Presence in the United States is not legally documented
- Receiving medical management of pain medication (not to include prescribed psychotropic medication)