Like any great resource, the key is knowing how to use it & benefit from it.
S.T.E.P. Court is a wonderful resource offered to Mecklenburg County residents who are facing criminal charges in District Court or Superior Court. The program is essentially free of charge and offers participants the chance to dismiss their pending charges, terminate remaining probation, or transfer the status of their probation from supervised to unsupervised if the program is successfully completed.
There are four main S.T.E.P. Court programs that vary by charge: Superior Court, District Court, DWI Treatment Court, and Mental Health Court. Each program has its own requirements for eligibility and participation. For example, to participate in DWI Treatment Court, a participant must be a Mecklenburg County resident, convicted of a level 1 or 2 DWI, or convicted of a probation violation. To participate in the District Court program, a participant must be a Mecklenburg County resident, and must be charged with one of the following crimes: Felony Possession of a Controlled Substance, Obtaining a Controlled Substance by Fraud or Forgery, Felony Property crimes, Class 1 Misdemeanor Drug or Property crimes, or Misdemeanor Probation Violations involving Class 1 Misdemeanors.
Each program follows a similar three-phase format, which gradually becomes less intensive. Individuals who wish to participate in the program must first be screened to determine eligibility.
If the individual is eligible they must receive a Court Order to enroll in the program. Once enrolled, the participant will begin the three-phase program. Participants will meet frequently and work with treatment facilities such as Anuvia or Family First, the S.T.E.P. Office, and the "treatment team", which is compiled of a District Attorney, Public Defender, Judge, and Probation Officer.
Upon successful completion of all three phases, the participant will have their pending charges dismissed, probation terminated, or supervised probation reduced to unsupervised probation. For more information on The Mecklenburg County S.T.E.P. Court please contact Parton & Associates.
Drafted by Brittny M. Kaltenbach
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The law applies differently in each situation. Nothing on this page should be construed as or be relied upon as legal advice.