What is Florida Drug Court?
Some Florida cases qualify for drug court, a rehabilitation-focused alternative to the standard punishment.
If you have been charged with a drug-related crime in West Palm Beach, you may wonder what your options are. Drug charges often result in jail time, but not always. Some Florida cases qualify for drug court, a rehabilitation-focused alternative to the standard punishment. Here is some basic information about Florida Drug Court including who is eligible for the program and what happens with your case after you complete the program.
What is Florida Drug Court?
Drug court is a pretrial intervention program available to Florida residents charged with a non-violent drug offense. As a pretrial intervention, qualified individuals enter the program before any kind of trial or decision is made as to whether they are guilty of the alleged crime. This is different than being sentenced to probation.
The goal is to rehabilitate individuals struggling with drug addiction, rather than just punishing them for their crime. This helps to reduce recidivism rates while providing individuals with an opportunity to develop the skills they need to get back on a clean path. Individuals must complete strict program requirements timely, generally within one year. Requirements including counseling, drug testing, support groups, and regular case reviews with their probation officer and/or the judge.
Once an individual completes drug court, pending drug charges are dismissed. There is no official finding of guilt, no sentencing, and no conviction.
Who is eligible for Florida Drug Court?
Drug court is an option for both misdemeanor and felony offenders. To qualify for drug court, an individual must have a substance abuse problem and be willing to participate in treatment, there can be no violent crime charges pending or on the individual’s record, and the individual must have no more than two felony convictions. If you have been charged with drug trafficking, you will not be eligible for drug court.
Will my drug charges be dismissed if I complete Drug Court?
Yes, the charges against you will be dismissed upon successful completion of drug court. This means your record will show you were arrested, but a dismissal will be noted rather than a conviction.
Will my arrest be erased from my record?
Not necessarily. If you are successful in completing drug court, the charges against you will be dismissed but expunging the arrest from your record is not automatic. To have the arrest removed from your record, you must file a Certificate of Eligibility from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). Your arrest will be expunged from your record once this request is granted.
Contact a West Palm Beach drug crime lawyer today
Whether you are unsure if you qualify for drug court or need help getting an arrest expunged from your record after completing drug court, our experienced West Palm Beach drug attorneys are here to help. Contact us today and gain an advocate to help you fight your drug charges.