Antioch, TN asked in Criminal Law and Constitutional Law for Tennessee

Q: can a person with no priors, not an addict, be forced into impatient rehab based on an officer judging her looks?

She has Excema, and an officer suggested she go into a rehab facility based on her skin condition that day. No prior arrests, and she isn’t an addict. Was only charged with misdemeanor possession bc it was at her friends that she lives with. This is unfair and unconstitutional.

2 Lawyer Answers

Mr. Kent Thomas Jones Esq.

  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Cleveland, TN
  • Licensed in Tennessee

A: If the charge for misdemeanor possession sticks, then a judge could easily order that she report to a rehab facility. The decision would be made on the charge and conviction and not necessarily on her looks. If she has no priors, then it would be in her best interests to obtain a criminal defense attorney to try to get her pre-trial diversion. If she cannot afford an attorney, a public defender or other attorney can be appointed to represent her.

Lawrence James Arnkoff

  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Brentwood, TN
  • Licensed in Tennessee

A: I don't think you have a complete understanding as to what is going

on in the criminal matter you have questioned. A law enforcement officer

has no authority to compel an individual into residential rehabilitation. From what little facts you have given I will guess that that at some court

appearance on the drug case a recommendation was made

for residential treatment. Usually those recommendations

come from defense counsel, the prosecutor, or the probation

department. Only the judge can impose residential treatment

as a condition of a pre-trial release or a condition of a sentence.

If the defendant has an attorney the attorney should investigate

the need for residential treatment and be prepared to show

the judge the treatment is or is not necessary.

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