Florida Drug Court Diversion Program
If convicted on criminal drug charges, you can face penalties that include prison time, probation, driver’s license suspension, heavy fines and more. If you are facing drug charges because you have a drug addiction, treatment for that problem is often more appropriate than incarceration and a conviction.
At Moses and Rooth Attorneys at Law, our experienced attorneys protect the rights of individuals throughout Central Florida. We are well aware of the reasons people commit drug crimes. We recognize that when an individual with a drug addiction has been accused of possessing or selling drugs, that individual needs help. Our attorneys can talk to you about Florida’s drug court diversion program and determine your eligibility for participation in the program.
The Basics of Florida Drug Court Diversion Program
Participation in drug court is voluntary. To be eligible for the program, the defendant must be charged with a misdemeanor or third-degree felony drug offense. The defendant must be a first-time offender, and the offense can only include possession charges. (some exceptions apply) Charges involving drug sales or drug delivery are not eligible. Florida’s drug court is an intense program that will require time and commitment on the part of the defendant.
How do I know if am eligible for drug court?
Every county/jurisdiction has its own special criteria for acceptance into the drug court program. However, the outline below are some of the basics for acceptance.
Requirements for acceptance of the program include:
- Must have a serious substance abuse problem requiring treatment.
- Must be a resident of the county where the program is hosted, have a drug-free stable place to reside, and reliable transportation.
- Must be mentally capable of benefiting from the Adult Drug Court and possess the motivation to complete the program.
- All cases must be approved by the State Attorney’s Office. Individuals charged with first time possession or purchase of a controlled substance are eligible to apply for acceptance into the program.
- Prior criminal history of charges related to sale and delivery may be rejected from the program.
- Individuals who are charged with any other 2nd or 3rd degree felony may request the State Attorney review their case for consideration for the program. Factors which will be used to determine acceptance include the facts of the current case, victim consent, and prior record.
- Violation of Probation or Community Control cases are eligible for acceptance.
Some examples of Criminal Charges that are eligible for the Drug Court Program:
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
- Simple possession charges
- Theft Offense that can be attributed to drugs
- Violation of probation for possession related drug offenses
Drug Court Program Requirements
The Drug Court Program is typically a 12-18 week program. Most programs offer a 3 Phase program which starts very intensive and then gradually reduces the required group and individual counseling. The drug testing will remain random throughout the program and be required at any time requested by the program counselors. Some of the additional drug court program requirements will include:
- Regular court appearances before a drug court judge
- Group and individual counseling
- Urinalysis drug tests
- Substance abuse treatment
- NA/AA meetings
- Maintain court approved housing
- Pay the program fees
Upon successful completion of the diversion program, the charges against the individual will be dismissed. The rate of recidivism (re-offending) is significantly lower for those who successfully complete drug court. To learn more about the specifics of the drug court program and discuss the options for acceptance, contact the criminal attorneys at Moses and Rooth.
Drug Court Resources