First Time Offender

As a first time offender, clients likely are eligible to apply for programs and/or specialized courts. In Madison County, we are fortunate to have Drug Court in juvenile court, dependency court and adult court. Likewise, we have a Mental Health Court in juvenile court and adult court (both municipal and county). We are fortunate enough to have Veterans Court as well. Some of the treatment programs available are the Pre-Trial Intervention Program which covers theft related charges, drug and alcohol offenses, domestic violence and/or anger management. As part of your initial consultation, we will discuss the facts of your cases and if warranted, explore some of these type of options in an effort to expedite the resolution. 


Our drug courts were created in 2001 and became fully operational in 2003. They were designed to offer opportunities with treatment and counseling so that individuals and families could enjoy a better life and so that we could reduce the rate of recidivism in our community. We established a core group of dedicated professionals, community volunteers, and mentors who were stakeholders with the goal of making sure our drug courts could offer wrap-around services to treat not only addictions, but the many other problems that follow. Both Jackie and I were fortunate enough to be involved in the planning and implementation of our drug courts. We both remain engaged and volunteer on a regular basis to help our current Drug Court Coordinator, Ms. Morgan Chisowsky. Morgan has the perfect demeanor for her new role: empathic and caring, but strict and no-nonsense. Morgan works well with Circuit Judge Claude E. Hundley, who oversees adult drug court, the assigned prosecutor, Mr. Burton Walker, as well as defense counsel and other professional volunteers. Court appearances for adult drug court are mandatory and usually are scheduled on Mondays of non-jury weeks. Dependency (or better known as family drug court) is overseen by District Court Linda F. Coats and juvenile drug court is overseen by Referee M. Catherine Callaway.


mental health court

Our mental health court in the county is overseen by District Court Patricia D. Demos. In order to participate, clients must have approval from the prosecutor assigned to his/her individual case(s). Clients must submit a recent (within 12 months) mental health assessment along with their application for review by the assigned prosecutor, Mr. Melvin Lockett, and the mental health team working closely with Judge Demos. In this program, clients work with a mental health liaison to ensure they are keeping medical appointments, making court appearances and following the program guidelines. Similarly, we have a municipal mental health court that is overseen by Judge Sybil Cleveland in Huntsville City Court. Judge Cleveland's application process does not require that an assessment be completed in advance of submission. Court appearances for each of these are almost always on Fridays.

veterans court

This court was designed specifically for veterans of the United States Armed Forces who have been charged with criminal offenses in Madison County. It combines drug court and mental health court plus adds a mentor for each participant. The focus is to help our veterans who may have dual diagnosis (i.e., drug and/or alcohol addictions and mental health distress) achieve a healthier life and attain goals set for education, employment, family, etc. Like with the other alternative courts, clients must first have approval from the prosecutor assigned to their individual case before an application will be accepted. Along with an application, this court requires clients to submit a copy of their DD Form 214 and any applicable medical records detailing mental health diagnoses and treatment. Ms. Emily Carroll is the assigned prosecutor for this Court and it's overseen by Circuit Court Judge Ruth Ann Hall. Court appearances typically are held once a month, on a Friday.


pre-trial intervention program

The Pre-Trial Intervention Program (PTIP) is overseen by the District Attorney's Office. It's a diversion program created for first-time, non-violent offenders. To qualify, clients have any outstanding open cases (including traffic tickets, worthless checks or fines), clients can't have more than one prior felony, clients must write an admission (which will be used against them of they fail to complete the program) and the offense for which a client is charged cannot be considered a Class A felony or any felony which involves serious injury or death. Like with the various courts outlined above, the benefit to PTIP is upon successful completion, the case will be dismissed.