Wisconsin Drug Court and Pretrial Diversion

Question: What is drug court and what is the Wisconsin pretrial diversion program?

Answer: There is no statewide drug court or statewide pretrial diversion program. However, many counties do have their own drug court, and do have their own pretrial diversion program, or types of resolutions, depending on the county. It can take many different forms. Generally speaking, the drug court programs are pretty—are fairly uniform. They might have some specific requirements, but generally they’re all going to require that the person does treatment. Oftentimes, have to attend actual court appearances—informal court appearances. They do random urinalysis and they have extra counseling that people have to complete. And then once the person completes their requirements, the charge is either dismissed or reduced, depending on the agreement when the person starts the program. So it can have a big advantage, especially if there’s a drug addiction that is known. The person can do this extra counseling and then get their criminal charge either completely dismissed or reduced to a lesser charge.

Pretrial diversion programs, it’s the same. Although there’s a greater variety in what can happen, depending on the county and the place. Often, there’s just some sort of a contract that will allow the person to take certain actions. And once those actions are completed, the charge would either be dropped or reduced, again. So there’s different ways and forms that those programs can take.

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