Florida drug courts were developed as an alternative to regular court, and it was meant to help those struggling with addiction. The emphasis in drug court for people convicted of Miami drug crimes is treatment and rehabilitation, rather than punishment. A non-adversarial approach is used. In a recent appellate decision, the court considered a case in which the defendant had been denied admission to drug court based on an administrative order.
The defendant asked the appellate court to review the lower court’s decision he wasn’t eligible for the drug court program and the administrative order that denied him admission to the drug court program. The appellate court reasoned that the administrative order departed from basic legal requirements.
The defendant had been charged with heroin and a DUI. The prosecutor had, at first, agreed to the defendant’s admission into the drug court program as it connected to possessing heroin. The felony judge who was assigned to the case referred the defendant to arraignment in drug court where he could be observed, and his eligibility reviewed.