Sixth Judicial District Court Judge Michael Montero agreed to a Justice Court request from Justice of the Peace Letty Norcutt to allow Sarah Marie Heitman to take part in Family Treatment Court, even though Heitman’s DUI-2 charges are still on a misdemeanor level. Specialty treatment court services are usually reserved for individuals facing gross misdemeanor or felony charges.
“I have been very comfortable working with Judge Norcutt in Justice Court to help out so we don’t have to create separate justice court and district court treatment programs,” Montero said. But then he struggled a little with determining which treatment court would offer the services most appropriate for Heitman’s situation.
Felony DUI Court is a three-year program, with five years probation. Drug Court also was not the right fit. Heitman has no mental health diagnosis, so Mental Health Court wasn’t an option. Montero determined that the one-year program of Family Treatment Court, was a good fit, as Heitman has a young daughter who was endangered because the little girl was in the vehicle when Heitman was arrested the second time for DUI.
Counselor Brian Nelson found that Heitman’s alcohol use constituted a substance abuse problem. Family Treatment Court has many of the same requirements as Drug Court, including drug and alcohol testing and counseling. In addition, Heitman will be eligible to attend the Strengthening Families or Celebrating Families program.
Heitman was ordered to complete DUI School and a Victim Impact Panel. She must have a breath interlock device installed on any car she drives for the next year.