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Drug Court

Lawyer for Miami Residents Facing Charges Related to Controlled Substances

Drug crimes are among the offenses most commonly pursued by prosecutors. In 1989, Florida pioneered the concept of courts that handle only drug crimes, and created the first drug court in the country in Miami-Dade County. Many studies have confirmed that drug courts substantially reduce crime, result in better outcomes, and are more cost-effective when compared to other strategies intended to address crime. If you have been charged with an offense related to controlled substances [link to possession of a controlled substance and are interested in drug court as an option, a dedicated Miami drug crime attorney can help you explore your legal options.

Drug Court

In many situations, drug crimes are committed because of the disease of addiction. When you successfully complete drug court, it can help you avoid jail time, and you may be allowed to keep a felony conviction off your record. The purpose of drug court is to provide you and others charged with drug crimes the chance to rejoin society after serving a sentence, and to try to prevent recidivism among those who have committed drug crimes. Under Florida Statutes section 397.334, the components of drug court include: an approach that is not adversarial the way ordinary court is, integration of drug and alcohol treatment into how your charges are processed, identification early on of those who may be suited to participate according to statute, alcohol and drug testing for abstinence, ongoing judicial interaction, interdisciplinary education, partnerships with stakeholders, monitoring and evaluation for effectiveness, and coordinated strategies for responses to compliance by participants.

A drug court can order you, if you’re eligible, to go into a pretrial treatment-based drug court program, but only if you agree in writing. The written agreement needs to include language stating that you understand the mandates of the treatment-based program, and that you could be sanctioned if you don’t follow them. Going into a post-adjudicatory treatment-based drug court program as a condition of probation or community control needs to be derived from how the court evaluates your criminal history and how amenable you are to program services, total sentence points, substance abuse screening outcome, and the state attorney’s recommendation.

Post-Adjudicatory Drug Courts

Florida Statutes section 948.08 sets forth the details of who is allowed to go to a post-adjudicatory drug court. Under this code section, anyone who is a first offender or who is convicted of up to one misdemeanor that’s nonviolent, or who is charged with a misdemeanor or felony of the third degree is eligible for release to a pretrial intervention program upon the approval of the administrator of the program, the state attorney, and the judge who oversaw your initial appearance, as well as the victim’s consent. A defendant isn’t supposed to be released to the pretrial intervention program except when, after talking to an attorney, he or she has voluntarily consented to the program and has intelligently and knowingly waived their right to a speedy trial during the diversion period.

Criminal charges against someone who is participating in the program can be put off without final disposition for the 90-day period after the day he or she is released to the program in situations where involvement in the program is satisfactory. If an administrator of the program asks and the state attorney consents, it can be possible to have it put off another 90 days.

However, pending criminal proceedings may be resumed if you don’t fulfill your obligations. When the intervention term is over, the program administrator can recommend your case go back to being prosecuted because your participation wasn’t satisfactory, or it can recommend that further supervision is needed, or it can recommend that you should face a dismissal of charges without prejudice.

Consult an Experienced Drug Crime Attorney in Miami

As of 2019, the state of Florida had 91 drug courts being operated, including 54 adult, 20 juvenile, 13 family dependency, and 4 DUI courts. If you are concerned about the possibility of drug court or want to seek out drug court in Miami, you can consult The Hoffman Law Firm. Call us at (305) 249-0090 or contact us via our online form. Mr. Hoffman can evaluate your situation during a free initial consultation. We represent clients in North Miami, Miami, Palm Beach, and neighboring counties.

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