Diversion Programs for Drug Offenses in Clemson

South Carolina laws carry severe penalties even for first time offenders who are charged with simple possession. However, our legislators understood that it would be more beneficial to offer these offenders educational and treatment programs to cure their addiction, instead of sending them to prison. Diversion programs for drug offenses can help you stop using drugs and avoid a criminal conviction.

In this article, an experienced Clemson drug crime defense lawyer will explain how this program works, who qualifies for it and what it involves.

A Recent Grant Aims to Improve the Diversion Program

One of the important things worth knowing is that the diversion programs in Clemson are about to get even better and more efficient. In February 2024, the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS) decided to partner with the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences at Clemson University.

DAODAS offered a $1.15 million grant to the university to help improve and expand community-based treatment programs for drug abuse. These programs help people get help with their addiction and avoid a court sentence and having a permanent criminal record.

What Do the Diversion Programs for Drug Offenses Do?

According to the South Carolina Eleventh Judicial Circuit that manages the program, the diversion program offers intensive drug treatments to eligible applicants. The applicants go through a rigorous screening before being accepted.

The duration of the program is between 12 and 18 months and consists of three phases:

Phase I – 4 to 6 Months

During the initial phase of the program, the participants will attend three treatment groups per week. Each treatment group session is three hours long and usually takes place in the evening.

The participants also benefit from 2 self-help meetings per week and must attend drug court once per week.

During this period, all participants will submit to random drug testing. Anyone who fails a test will be excluded from the program and may face criminal charges again.

therapy can replace jail sentence for first-time drug offenders

Phase II 0 4 to 6 Months

During the next phase, the group treatment sessions are reduced from three to two per week (each three hours long). In compensation, the number of self-help sessions increases from two to three per week.

Just like during the first phase, the participants must attend drug court once per week and submit to random drug testing.

Phase III – 4 to 6 Months

In the last phase of diversion programs for drug offenses, the participants will attend:

  • One group treatment session per week
  • Four self-help sessions per week
  • One Drug Court session per week
  • Random drug testing

Participants who successfully complete the program can consult with a Clemson drug crimes defense lawyer to make sure that their criminal charges are dismissed. More importantly, they can make a fresh start, free of drug addiction.

Who Can Attend the Diversion Programs?

The idea of getting treatment for drug addiction and the charges dropped is attractive. But not everyone is eligible to enter this program. The judicial circuit makes it clear that drug dealers cannot benefit from this lenient option. However, at its own discretion, the court may admit drug users who sell to support their habit.

It is important to know that the drug court will examine recommendations made by arresting officers, as well as the applicant. It is always a good idea to stay calm and cooperative when the officers perform the arrest. Your conduct will be taken into account when they are asked to make a recommendation for enrollment in the diversion program.

Let an Experienced Clemson Drug Crime Defense Lawyer Advise You!

Joining diversion programs for drug offenses is a win-win scenario: you get help with your addiction and avoid a criminal trial and potential conviction.

However, you must meet certain eligibility conditions and complete the program successfully. In order to understand if this is an available option for you, discuss your case with an experienced Clemson drug crime defense lawyer at Boatwright Legal.

We offer each new client a free case review, so call us today at 864-263-1679!


We are dedicated to upholding justice and serving your legal needs. Don’t wait, get the help you need. Boatwright Legal is here for you!