Substance Abuse Evaluations in Hampton Roads DUI Cases

Substance abuse evaluations are mostly handled through the Alcohol Safety Action Program, otherwise known as ASAP. In some jurisdictions, the substance abuse evaluations are handled by the Pre-Trial Supervision Unit or Court Probation. ASAP is a state-run program whose authority to operate is found in the Virginia Code. Once a person is placed on probation, the ASAP probation officer has access to all substance abuse evaluation and treatment records. For more information about substance abuse evaluations in Hampton Roads DUI cases, reach out to a knowledgeable DUI lawyer.

Purpose of the Substance Abuse Evaluation

Substance abuse evaluations in Hampton Roads DUI cases are used to determine if there is an underlying substance abuse issue in an individual. Oftentimes, people have issues that they are not aware of. The criminal defense attorney wants the defendant to be aware of any problems and also wants the court to be aware of it if there is indeed a substance abuse issue. The lawyer wants the court to know if there is a substance abuse issue because the court can take it into account when fashioning a sentence.

If someone does have an abuse problem, then the judge may require the individual to complete a rehab program or some other sort of substance abuse treatment program as part of a suspended sentence. However, if the person receives a positive evaluation, the judge will be more inclined to think that whatever happened was a one-time instance and not part of a pattern of behavior. Therefore, the judge would be less likely to order any sort of intensive rehab for the person.

What is Determined After Evaluating Someone for Substance Abuse

When conducting substance abuse evaluations in Hampton Roads DUI cases, the state wants to determine:

  • What substances a person is using
  • How often they are using
  • Whether there are levels of dependency on the substances
  • How significantly these substances are impairing their daily living

Most of the time, these evaluations come from a meeting with a counselor or probation officer. The probation officer doing an assessment may contact other family members or employers of the individual to gather some background information.

Benefits of a Substance Abuse Evaluation

When a person undergoes substance abuses evaluations in Hampton Roads DUI cases, it will serve as an indicator that they have or do not have a problem. Knowing this may be useful for their future health. These evaluations can prove to the court whether or not the individual is dealing with a serious problem or if it was just a one-time lapse in judgment. After the evaluation, the court can determine what the best possible ways to address the issue would be.

Every judge in every city has their own way of doing things and handing out sentencing. However, when an evaluation suggests a substance abuse problem, the judge is going to consider treatment to be of the utmost importance. If you have any more questions about substance abuse evaluations in Hampton Roads DUI cases, consult with a well-established attorney.