"There are generally two models for drug courts: deferred prosecution programs and post-adjudication programs. In a deferred prosecution or diversion setting, defendants who meet certain eligibility requirements are diverted into the drug court system prior to pleading to a charge. Defendants are not required to plead guilty and those who complete the drug court program are not prosecuted further. Failure to complete the program, however, results in prosecution. Alternatively, in the post-adjudication model, defendants must plead guilty to their charges but their sentences are deferred or suspended while they participate in the drug court program. Successful completion of the program results in a waived sentence and sometimes an expungement of the offense. However, in cases where individuals fail to meet the requirements of the drug court (such as a habitual recurrence of drug use), they will be returned to the criminal court to face sentencing on the guilty plea."


King, Ryan S. and Pasquarella, Jill, "Drug Courts: A Review of the Evidence" (Washington, DC: Sentencing Project, April 2009), p. 3.