Maryland Substance Abuse Evaluations
In Maryland, substance abuse evaluations are usually administered by private companies. There are many different private companies in every county that conduct those evaluations and provide information on treatment to the party seeking the evaluation.
Usually, after a substance abuse evaluation in Virginia, the company makes a recommends how many hours or weeks of classes should be completed. The company also provides a certificate of completion that the person can take to court before their DUI case.
To best understand how participating in a Maryland substance abuse evaluation can benefit your DUI case, it is important to consult with an experienced lawyer immediately. A knowledgeable Maryland drug DUI attorney can use this to your advantage when discussing the penalties of your charge.
Confidentiality of the Assessment
Maryland substance abuse evaluations are done privately, so a person should not worry that any results of the assessment might be shared in court or with the prosecution. These organizations send a copy of the evaluation and any treatment verification to the attorney directly.
It is up to the attorney to make a decision with their client on the appropriate time to share that with the judge or the prosecution.
Purpose of the Evaluation
The intended purpose of a substance abuse evaluation in Maryland is to identify the significant issues, if any exist, regarding a person’s use of substances and whether they pose a risk to themselves or others. These issues can manifest themselves in various ways, with some listed below.
Pattern of Substance Abuse
The number of incidents, the level of alcohol concentration the police tested in a particular case, and the person’s own admissions during the course of an evaluation about their prior use or abuse of substances play into recommendations for what should happen to an individual with a pattern of substance abuse.
The consequence of an evaluation that indicates addictive behavior is that a recommendation is made for a certain kind of treatment in line with the evaluation.
When it is determined that somebody has significant issues with alcohol or substance abuse, a recommendation might be made on the length of substance abuse treatment.
Tendency toward Future Problems with Substance Abuse
Sometimes an education program is recommended instead of a treatment program when an individual is found to not have a tendency toward future problems with substance abuse.
An online program or something on the lighter side can educate the person about the dangers of drinking and driving and how the body might react to alcohol.
Requesting an Evaluation
Anyone can request a substance abuse evaluation. The defense attorney can request one or a prosecutor can ask the judge to order a substance abuse evaluation. Additionally, probation and pre-trial services often request substance abuse evaluations. The person who is charged can request a substance abuse evaluation as well.
Generally, the lawyer decides to have someone undergo a Maryland substance abuse evaluation if they are being proactive. However, a court or the prosecution can make a request to the court to order an evaluation as well.
Administering the Evaluation
A substance abuse evaluation in Maryland usually involves a review of the police report and records as well as an interview with the person being evaluated to identify any significant issues relating to substances.Usually, the evaluation is in the form of an interview or another type of intake. There can be medical records reviewed or a physician might conduct the evaluation.
Benefits of an Evaluation
The most important benefit of undergoing a substance abuse evaluation in Maryland is when a person suffers from substance abuse issues, those issues can be addressed to make sure that something like this does not happen again.
It puts the person in a good position with the judge and prosecutor to demonstrate how seriously they take the events. A substance abuse evaluation reassures the authorities that problems with substance abuse will not happen in the future.
If the evaluation determines that the defendant does have a substance abuse problem then the court will typically recommend educational and/or treatment programs such as therapy, or victim panels.
DUI Therapy Groups
There are many classes or group therapy sessions available to the public. Additionally, there is an Alcoholics Anonymous course and other programs available. DUI group discussion topics focus on substance abuse triggers and the steps to take to address those issues whenever they feel the trigger coming on.
A Victim Impact Panel is run by Mothers Against Drunk Driving. It is a meeting where people who lost loved ones to DUIs or were seriously injured as a result of DUI come and speak on a panel to address members of the community to explain to them why these issues need to be taken seriously.
Oftentimes, the court orders attendance at a Victim Impact Panel as part of probation or resolution of the case to make sure that people recognize their actions impact not only themselves but also other members of the community. The panel is one session that lasts about three hours. These meetings usually take place at varying times throughout the day depending on the jurisdiction. In Montgomery County, they take place on Thursday evenings.