Miami Drug Court Attorney
What Is Drug Court and How Does It Work?
In the 1980s, an increasing number of individuals were repeatedly getting arrested for drug possession and other related drug charges. As a result, drug courts were established to help Florida communities handle their growing drug problems. In drug court, defendants, who are referred to as clients, voluntarily get treatment through interventions, group and individual therapy, and more. Defendants also make regular appearances in front of a drug court judge to report on their progress.
Drug courts are not diversion programs but can offer the same benefits. Drug court can be a good option if you are looking at jail time for your crime and have a history of drug abuse but were unable to get treatment. Ultimately, though, it depends on your individual criminal history and your treatment needs. Drug court is not mandatory if it’s offered as an alternative to the prosecution of your case, but it may give you a better outcome than if you allowed the court to prosecute you. It’s helpful to know that you do not have to be a first time offender for a prosecutor to offer you this type of alternative to your case.
However, drug court can be a very difficult program to complete, as you will be drug tested often, go to counseling, attend meetings, and make frequent court appearances so your progress can be monitored. The success rate of drug court is marginal as a result. If you don’t follow the strict rules, you could face harsher consequences than if you chose another resolution for your case, such as prosecution. That’s why many criminal defense attorneys only recommend drug court when the prosecution has strong cases against their clients and there is no other alternative to defending a case.
With this in mind, you must consult with an experienced attorney to determine whether drug court is a good alternative for you.To discuss your situation with our Miami drug court lawyer, please contact us online or at (305) 440-4006 to learn more!
Benefits of Drug Court
Oftentimes, criminal courts are lenient on defendants by allowing them to participate in drug court because they recognize the need to help rather than punish drug abusers.
Participating in drug court provides the following advantages:
- It allows an individual to avoid having to spend time in either jail or prison.
- It gives participants a better chance at remaining abstinent from drug and alcohol abuse.
- By completing a drug court program successfully, drug charges are oftentimes dismissed or reduced.
- Individuals who are allowed to participate in a drug court program often get to choose which program they will be attending.
- It helps stop the cycle of drug abuse and its corresponding criminal behaviors.
- Drug court fosters better social skills and functioning
- It reduces the problem of crowded jails by providing more space for individuals found guilty of serious crimes
What to Expect from Drug Court
The biggest advantage to drug court is that once completed, your charges get dismissed. The disadvantages are that it can take a long time to complete and requires adherence to tough rules. You must also have a strong desire to successfully complete the program. Keep in mind that you can partially complete the program but still get sent back to the circuit court and have to defend your case anyway.
A key component of all drug court programs across the nation is the regular drug testing of program participants. Each drug court program has program guidelines for the frequency and method of drug testing, and the types of drugs being screened.
According to Multi-Site Adult Drug Court Evaluation (MADCE) surveys, almost all drug courts that responded to the surveys reported using a urine test to screen program participants for drug use. Drug tests also typically test for creatine levels to determine whether a urine sample has been diluted or substituted for another substance such as water. A small number of responding drug courts reported using a sweat-patch, saliva and hair samples to collect drug test samples.
MADCE also reveals that the responding drug courts reported testing for the following substances:
- Opiates (e.g. Vicodin, Oxycontin)
- Benzodiazepines (e.g. Xanax, Valium)
- stimulants (e.g. Adderall, speed)
- Phencyclidine (LSD)
- Other drugs
A positive drug test may result in sanctions such as stricter treatment requirements, additional time in drug court program, more frequent drug tests or dismissal from the drug court program altogether. If you get kicked out of drug court, your case may get sent back to the court’s regular felony trial decision and be set for trial. Moreover, you will likely never be able to participate in a diversionary drug court program again.
Facing Drug Crime Charges? Consider Drug Court as an Option.
With the help of a good Miami drug court lawyer, you may opt to participate in a drug court program rather than go to jail if you are charged with or convicted of certain drug crimes. A drug court program is a much better alternative to imprisonment and paying hefty fines. When you retain an experienced drug court lawyer, they can explain your options and work to help you avoid devastating legal consequences. In addition, if you have been charged with violating the terms of a drug court program by testing positive for drugs or committing another infraction, you need a drug court attorney to protect your best interests.
As such, we urge you to put our Miami drug court lawyer on your team as you navigate the process. For over 35 years, our attorney has helped clients charged with drug offenses get their penalties eliminated or reduced while maintaining good standing with their drug court program, where possible.