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Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible for the STAR Drug Court Program, the Defendant MUST meet the following criteria:

  • Have a moderate to high TRAS assessment score with moderate to severe substance use disorder;

  • Be an adult (17  years of age or older) or a juvenile certified to stand trial as an adult;

  • Be a resident of Harris County, Texas;

  • Have a substance use disorder;

  • Be arrested for, charged with, or convicted of:

    • an offense in which an element of the offense is the use or possession of alcohol or the use, possession, or sale of a controlled substance, a controlled substance analogue, or marihuana; or

    • an offense in which the use of alcohol or a controlled substance is suspected to have significantly contributed to the commission of the offense and the offense did not involve:

      • carrying, possessing, or using a firearm or other dangerous weapon;

      • the use of force against the person of another; or

      • the death of or serious bodily injury to another

  • May benefit from a program if the Court makes a finding of good cause

    The defense attorney, judge, prosecutor, or court probation officer from any criminal district court, can refer eligible candidates to STAR.  Final determination of acceptance to the program will be decided by the applicable Star Court judge with team input. 

    If the District Attorney does not waive her right to a jury trial, the Defendant will be not be eligible to participate. 



Defendants will be excluded from participation for the following reasons:

  • A pending felony charge for any aggravated offense or any case where a firearm was possessed, used, or exhibited;

  • A prior conviction, deferred adjudication, or pending charge for a sex offense, including but not limited to, those offenses enumerated in Article 42.12-13B(b) of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, unless the Court finds good cause to allow participation and a treatment provider will accept the Defendant for treatment.

  • Any case in which the Court finds good cause to exclude the Defendant from participating in the program, including but not limited to, findings of violence based on known facts which might cause disruption or threaten the health and wellbeing of other clients.


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