Consequences for Violating Court-Ordered Rehab Treatment

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Consequences for Violating Court-Ordered Rehab Treatment

Going to drug rehab isn’t always a voluntary choice for those who enroll. In some cases, individuals may be ordered to enroll in a drug rehab program by a judge as a result of a criminal conviction. It’s called court-ordered drug rehab, and there are serious consequences for those who choose to violate a court-ordered rehab sentence.

Court-Ordered Rehab: The Basics

A court-ordered rehab is a form of alternative sentencing for individuals who have been convicted of a drug-related crime. If an individual is sentenced to drug and alcohol rehab instead of jail, it is because the judge believes the person would be better served with long-term rehab than incarceration. This is often the case for non-violent, first-time offenders, as incarceration is more expensive and less effective.1

Adult drug courts are designed to help criminal offenders reduce relapse and successfully complete court-ordered treatment with monitoring, supervision, incentives, and other support and rehabilitation services.2 Not all criminal offenders are eligible for court-ordered rehab. A person may be eligible if the offense is non-violent, related to alcohol and drug abuse, and/or directly involves the possession or distribution of drugs. A person may also be eligible if they have not previously been treated for substance abuse in the past or they are a first-time offender.

If sentenced to a court-ordered drug rehab program, an individual will be required to enroll in a treatment program, as specified by the courts. This may include outpatient or inpatient drug and alcohol rehab, individual and/or group counseling, 12-step program involvement, or some other form of acceptable treatment.

Benefits of Court-Ordered Rehab for Criminal Offenders

Court-ordered drug rehab can be extremely beneficial for criminal offenders. First and foremost, it provides these individuals with a safe and supportive place to stay sober while they address the psychological aspects of their addiction and any coexisting disorders, such as depression or PTSD. It also provides peer support and essential tools for relapse prevention.

Additionally, court-ordered rehab challenges “criminal thinking” by combating harmful attitudes and beliefs that support criminal behavior. In rehab, individuals will receive cognitive development training that will help them recognize and modify those harmful attitudes and beliefs to improve behavior, judgment, and decision-making skills.3

Violating a Court-Ordered Rehab Sentence

If a person is sentenced to court-ordered rehab by a judge, he or she may choose to violate that sentencing. Most often, this occurs when a person refuses to enroll in treatment or stops attending treatment before they have completed the required programming. A person may also violate their sentencing by possessing drugs, selling drugs, or relapsing multiple times.

Consequences for violating a court-ordered drug rehab sentence will vary and largely depend on several different factors, including:

  • The type of violation
  • The frequency of violations (if there is more than one)
  • The person’s criminal history
  • Time spent in treatment
  • Behavior during treatment

Naturally, repeated violations will receive more severe consequences, but the consequences faced by an individual will solely depend on the judge’s decision. Since criminal offenders usually agree to court-ordered rehab in exchange for jail time and hefty fines, a violation may result in immediate incarceration, large fines, and/or increased sentencing time.4

Long-Term Drug Rehab Treatment at Extra Mile Recovery

Drug and alcohol rehab at Extra Mile Recovery Center is not your average, cookie-cutter rehab experience. At Extra Mile, we strive to provide a personalized drug rehab program that treats the whole person—not just the addiction. Our treatment teams realize that drug-related criminal behavior is often a result of character deficits and a lack of life skills, not an issue of morality or willpower.

The long-term rehab program at Extra Mile gives each client at least 90 days to address psychological trauma and emotional and behavioral deficits that have contributed to their criminal behavior and addiction. In taking the time to address all aspects of the person’s substance abuse, clients who fully engage in treatment typically experience genuine, personal transformation, and are more likely to sustain their sobriety on a long-term basis.

At Extra Mile, our admissions team will work with legal counsel to ensure all the necessary information is provided to the courts and any and all legal entities involved. Our Admissions Coordinators also work with the client’s treatment team to provide treatment updates. We will even see the client through into our Addiction Monitoring Program and/or sober living program after rehab to provide ongoing support and encourage long-term success in sobriety.

If you or a loved one has been sentenced to court-ordered rehab, this is a great opportunity to make a permanent change. Call Extra Mile Recovery Center today to learn more about the benefits of our long-term rehab program and our 15-month continuum of care.


  1. http://www.aaap.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/AAAP-FINAL-Criminal-Justice-System-and-SUD-Treatment-Policy-for-merge.pdf
  2. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/238527.pdf
  3. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-abuse-treatment-criminal-justice-populations/principles 
  4. http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/DefiningDC.pdf

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