Like the flu, cancer or anxiety disorder, addiction is an illness. As such, the traditional penalties levied through the justice system do not always serve to rehabilitate those who have been charged with drug-related offenses. However, if you are facing drug charges in Florida, you may be eligible to participate in the state’s drug court program and avoid going to prison.
If the court sees fit and you agree, you may be eligible for participation in the pretrial intervention program. Successful completion could result in the court recommending that the charges against you be dropped without prejudice or that you no longer require supervision. Should you fail to complete the program, the authorities may pursue prosecution of the charges you are facing.
The pretrial intervention program is not available to all those facing drug charges. Only those charged with misdemeanor offenses or felonies of the third degree may be eligible for participation in the program. Additionally, you cannot have been previously convicted of more than one nonviolent misdemeanor offense.
According to Florida state law, treatment-based drug court programs combine drug-treatment services with the processing of justice system cases. Through such a program, you will be monitored for drug use through frequent testing. Further, you will have access to a range of treatment and rehabilitative services, which may help break the cycle of addiction and imprisonment. For example, you may get medical and mental health assistance to help stop your drug use, as well as have access to housing assistance that will enable you to get out of an environment that may contribute to a relapse.
The information included in this post is intended for general purposes only and is not meant to be taken as legal advice.