Drug charges can yield devastating consequences for those convicted that may uproot their life, ruin their career, affect their relationships, and land them in prison. Fortunately, some Florida offenders—including certain felony offenders—may be eligible to enter a drug diversion program that serves as an alternative to traditional sentencing. If successfully completed, these programs act as avenues for avoiding jail or prison time, with some even leading to criminal charges being completely dismissed.
However, the requirements for these programs are strict and often include staying out of trouble, taking random drug tests, and frequent court appearances. Without the help of a qualified drug attorney, it can be difficult to know how to access these programs and complete them successfully. Learn more about what to expect if you find yourself facing drug-related allegations in the State of Florida.
When someone is found guilty of a drug crime in Orlando, there are a few different ways the case may be resolved. The most common penalties for defendants after a conviction of this nature involve statutory consequences like prison time, probation, a driver’s license suspension, and heavy fines.
If you’re facing drug charges because you have a drug addiction, however, treatment for that problem is often more appropriate than incarceration. As long as you’re not a repeat offender and Florida State prosecutors don’t believe that you’re dealing drugs, you may qualify to go through a drug diversion program like pre-trial diversion, marijuana drug diversion, juvenile diversion, or drug court.
Individuals charged with second or third-degree felony possession or certain other drug crimes may be eligible for pre-trial intervention. This kind of program provides counseling, education, supervision, and medical and psychological treatment in lieu of incarceration and other criminal penalties. Pre-trial intervention may be available if you’re a first offender or haven’t been previously convicted of more than one nonviolent misdemeanor.
Acceptance into a pretrial intervention program requires the approval of the judge and the prosecutor handling your case. Criminal proceedings can be resumed if at any time you violate or fail your requirements under the program. If the program requirements are satisfied, however, you may be able to have the criminal charges against you dismissed.
There are certain drug diversion programs in Orlando available for first-time marijuana offenders depending on the country in which the alleged crime took place. Charges related to simple possession of cannabis, purchasing cannabis, and possession of cannabis with the intent to sell can be referred to one of five local diversion programs. The drug-related diversion program to which your marijuana case may be referred will depend on your prior record, facts of your case, county of residence, and participation in a previous diversion program.
Drug Court is designed specifically for those who have entered the legal system because of addiction. Its purpose is to help these individuals reenter society as productive members. Drug Court typically includes case management, drug testing, counseling, and frequent court appearances. Much like pre-trial intervention, those who successfully complete the Drug Court program may be eligible to have their charges dismissed.
Another diversion program that serves youth offenders is the Juvenile Diversion Alternative Program (JDAP). JDAP is available for young individuals referred by the Department of Juvenile Justice and approved by the state attorney’s office and is intended for those 17 years of age or younger. Those eligible for admission include first-time misdemeanor offenders, misdemeanor offenders with prior adjudications, second-time misdemeanor offenders with prior adjudications, violent first-degree misdemeanor offenders, and first-time third-degree felony offenders.
Once admitted into JDAP, a youth offender is assigned a case manager who provides supervision and develops individualized case plans that identify needs and contain clear corrective action steps.
If you have been arrested for a drug-related crime in Florida and need help protecting your rights, the expert legal team at The Umansky Law Firm can help. With an intricate understanding of the laws surrounding these programs, our Orlando drug attorneys can be instrumental in helping you gain access to a drug diversion program. As former prosecutors and public defenders on a state and local level, our team understands the ins and outs of Florida drug laws and serves to protect our clients from further punishment and damage to their reputation.
With over 100 years of combined legal experience, our team has the time and expertise to launch an investigation into your case and the circumstances leading up to your arrest. We’ll work tirelessly to fight for your rights. Call or complete our online contact form to receive a free consultation.
Orlando Criminal Defense Attorney