Following a DUI arrest, an individual might be ordered to undergo a substance abuse evaluation. The intended purpose of a substance abuse evaluation is to determine whether or not a person has an issue with drugs or alcohol or any other controlled substance. Following the evaluation, it would be determined it would be determined whether or not that person needs additional treatment and, if so, what that treatment would be. The value of substance abuse evaluations for West Palm Beach DUIs is that they could sometimes validate that someone may have a substance abuse problem, which may be a mitigating factor in their case. If a person has been charged with a DUI, they should consult an adept DUI attorney that could counsel them on whether a substance abuse evaluation is right for them.
Determining Whether Someone Should Undergo an Evaluation
Depending on the circumstances, judges or criminal defense lawyers may order substance abuse evaluations for West Palm Beach DUIs. There are times when a lawyer may have a person undergo a substance abuse evaluation prior to going to court or while the case is pending, in anticipation that the evaluation will be required or, in an effort to show that the defendant understands that there may be an issue. An attorney also might have someone undergo an evaluation in order to demonstrate that the person is taking a proactive approach, and is dedicated to getting their substance abuse issues under control.
If the person has not done a substance abuse evaluation on their own, it is not an issue but if it is not done proactively, it could be a condition of any sentence moving forward. An individual might have to get an evaluation in order to get their license back or in order to successfully complete probation. The state or the judge can order an evaluation as part of a sentence or, even additionally maybe in certain circumstances, as part of a condition of pretrial release.
Who Administers These Evaluations?
Substance abuse evaluations for West Palm Beach DUIs can be obtained through either a state vendor or a private provider. A state vendor would be someone who is recommended to the person by the court or someone who has signed on as an approved person to do these things by the state of Florida. They can also be referred to by a supervisor agency such as probation. That would be done by a public provider.
A person can also get a substance evaluation from their own private mental health professional if they have a relationship with one already or if they seek to establish one with either a licensed mental health counselor, a social worker, psychologist or psychiatrist. So, a mental health professional will administer the substance abuse evaluation. It can be done through a public agency if the person is referred from a state or public agency or it can also be done privately if they already have a relationship with a private mental health professional or seek to establish one.
Benefits of Undergoing a West Palm Beach Substance Abuse Evaluation
There are many benefits of substance abuse evaluations for West Palm Beach DUIs. The first one would be to determine whether or not the person has an issue with substance abuse. The benefit would be having the evaluation and having the individual answer truthfully and the facts are presented and the mental health professional feels that the person does not have a substance abuse issue. If there is indeed a substance abuse issue then the person will probably be referred to treatment. If someone elects to have the evaluation done, independent of a judge’s orders, it could also serve as a mitigating factor in their case and lead to a slightly more lenient sentence. To learn more, those who have been charged with DUIs should consult a skilled DUI attorney that could help.