Criminal Law | MERIT Program
If you have been charged with a drug-related offence, the first thing you need to do is seek the help of the best law firm Sydney has to offer. A law firm such as Executive Legal knows all the options available to your unique case and more often than not, this includes a MERIT Program.
What is a MERIT Program?
For starters, MERIT stands for “Magistrates Early Referral into Treatment.” This program is run by courts in an effort to help people break away from drug addiction and prevent any drug offences that can be made in the future.
Who can take part in a MERIT Program?
You are eligible for MERIT if:
You are an adult who is eligible for bail
You voluntarily agree to participate in a MERIT Program
You have no record of a sexual offence or an indictable offence.
What does it mean to participate in a MERIT Program?
Once deemed eligible to participate in a MERIT Program, a tailored treatment plan will be created for you, unique to the offence you’ve made and the sentence you received. Some situations under a MERIT PRogram include detoxification, rehabilitation, counselling, and more.
Also expect to undergo various drug tests, including a regular urine testing which is done to screen for any drug usage post-MERIT acceptance.
If you are deemed worthy to participate in a MERIT Program, you will be granted bail, thus implying that you must abide to any bail conditions demanded by the court. Failing to abide by the conditions set by the court can mean termination from the MERIT program and that you must return to court to be sentenced accordingly.
Can a MERIT Program reduce my penalty?
Completing the MERIT Program means that you will still be sentenced by the court. However, the magistrate who will hear your case will also take into consideration the feedback supplied by your MERIT caseworker. The report provided by your caseworker will state in detail the progress you have made and how positive your efforts were in battling and preventing drug addiction. All of you efforts during the MERIT Program will be taken into consideration and can contribute to a lighter penalty.