How Does Court Ordered Drug and Alcohol Evaluation Work in California? - ARCpoint Labs of Santa Fe Springs
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How Does Court Ordered Drug and Alcohol Evaluation Work in California?

by | Dec 23, 2023 | Uncategorized

In the state of California, court-ordered drug and alcohol evaluation can be a required component of a wide range of legal situations. In many cases, this evaluation is used as a determination of next steps, providing information to help the court decide about how to move forward in the legal process. If you’ve been ordered to complete a drug and alcohol evaluation as a part of your court proceedings, understanding how the process works can better prepare you for the experience.

When Can a California Court Order a Drug and Alcohol Evaluation?

There are a few different scenarios in which you may be asked to complete a court-ordered drug and alcohol evaluation. Not all of the situations are directly related to criminal or drug court proceedings; evaluations are often requested as a part of family court dealings as well. Here are a few of the most common situations in which a California court may require a drug and alcohol evaluation:

  • Child custody and visitation cases, specifically in situations that one or both parents make accusations (and provides evidence) of drug or alcohol use that would endanger the child in question
  • Following a DUI or DWI conviction (or during the court proceedings)
  • Other drug court convictions or proceedings

How Does the Court-Ordered Drug and Alcohol Evaluation Process Work?

The evaluation process often looks much different depending on your specific situation. If you are dealing with a family court case, such as child custody, you may only be required to complete a single test at a certified facility to refute (or confirm) suspected drug use. However, if you have been found guilty of a drug- or alcohol-related criminal offense, such as DUI, the evaluation process can vary. It may be required during your court proceedings or following a conviction, to help determine sentencing. Or, it may stretch over a longer time period, with regular testing to prove ongoing sobriety as a condition of parole or another rehab-focused program.

Because the California court takes a rehabilitative approach to drug and alcohol offenses, the evaluation process is commonly paired with supportive elements such as counseling and education. You may begin the process by completing an interview with a treatment provider, who will analyze the results of your drug and alcohol screening (and other supporting documents) to make a recommendation for specific treatment. You can expect to be responsible for the cost of the evaluation, which averages around $100.

What are the Requirements for a Court-Ordered Alcohol or Drug Test?

If you are required to complete a California court-ordered drug or alcohol test, you must visit a certified lab in order to receive legally-admissible results. Because at-home tests carry a high risk for user error, contamination, and the alteration of samples or results, they are not considered an acceptable method for use in the court-ordered drug test procedure.

In terms of the type and frequency of the drug or alcohol test, each individual case will vary. A parole or probation officer may be responsible for outlining the specific testing requirements, or the court may provide guidelines to follow throughout the process. If you are unclear as to the testing requirements, it’s important that you consult your legal representative for clarification.

Convenient, Accurate Drug and Alcohol Testing in Santa Fe Springs

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