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DECSP

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Applying for the Drug Education and Community Service Program

If you were charged with a drug crime, you might be able to apply for Connecticut’s Pretrial Drug Education and Community Service Program (DECSP). The DECSP allows qualifying individuals to enter a drug education program or substance abuse treatment and complete community service instead of going to court for their alleged offense. To participate, you must meet eligibility criteria, pay applicable fees, and agree to attend the recommended services. After successfully completing all court-ordered requirements, the criminal charges may be dismissed.

At Carlson & Dumeer, LLC, our team pursues available legal options for our clients to protect their rights and futures. Our Hartford DECSP lawyers will review your case to determine whether you qualify and prepare and submit the application on your behalf. We can provide the counsel you need outside the courtroom, answering your questions and addressing your concerns. Additionally, we can assist through any scheduled hearings.


Backed by 20 years of combined experience, our DECSP attorneys in Hartford can provide the legal representation you need. Please schedule a consultation by calling us at (877) 795-5594 or contacting us online.


About the DECSP

The Pretrial Drug Education and Community Service Program provides a path for seeking a reduction or dismissal of your drug crime charges. You could apply for it if you were charged with a drug possession or paraphernalia offense.

If the court grants your request to participate in the DECSP, you will be ordered to complete a drug education program or substance abuse treatment service recommended by an authorized agency. You will also be required to do community service for a certain number of days.

Upon successful completion of the program or treatment and community service, you can apply to have your criminal charges dismissed.

Eligibility for the DECSP

To be considered for the DECSP, you must have been charged with an eligible drug crime.

These offenses include:

The Application Process

Before you can participate in the DECSP, you must submit an application to the Clerk of Court and complete various other steps. When filing your documents, you must pay a $100 application fee and a $150 non-refundable evaluation cost. If you can’t pay the required fees, you can submit an Affidavit of Indigency to ask the court to consider waiving them.

When you apply for the DECSP, the court will seal your record. The prosecutor will also recommend to the court whether you should be granted participation in the program.

If you are accepted into the DECSP, the court will refer you to the Court Support Services Division (CSSD) to verify your eligibility. You will then be evaluated by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (if this is your first or second time applying) or a state-licensed substance abuse treatment program (if this is your third time applying). However, if you are a veteran, the court may refer you to the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs or the United States Department of Veterans Affairs for evaluation. The evaluation will determine the type of program you must enter.

Upon acceptance to the DECSP, you agree to:

  • Have the statute of limitations for your alleged crime tolled,
  • Waive your right to a speedy trial,
  • Participate in a 15-session drug education program or substance abuse treatment of at least 15 sessions,
  • Start the recommended program within 90 days after receiving court approval,
  • Complete the community service component,
  • Pay the costs for the drug education or substance abuse treatment program, and
  • Refrain from engaging in criminal activity.

You may also be required to complete any other drug or substance abuse components the CSSD deems necessary.

The Effects of Prior Admission to the DECSP

Having been granted admission to the DECSP for a previous drug possession or paraphernalia offense won’t disqualify you from participating in the program again. However, it will determine the duration of the community service component.

The community services program shall last:

  • 5 days if this is your first time applying
  • 15 days if this is your second time applying
  • 30 days if this is your third time applying

Contact Carlson & Dumeer, LLC

Our Hartford DECSP lawyers believe that providing individuals the treatment and services they need to address substance abuse issues can help end patterns of criminal behavior. That is why we pursue options like the pretrial drug education and community service program for our clients.


To learn more about how we can help you, please call us at (877) 795-5594 or submit an online contact form today.



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