Marijuana and Florida Drug Courts
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The first modern drug court in the country was implemented in Florida in 1989. Since their initial use, these courts have proven to reduce the rate of recidivism and the cost to taxpayers when compared to conventional courts and penalty schemes like prison sentences. For more information about the use of drug courts in Florida, see Florida’s drug control strategy. To find out more about the drug court in your area, go to the Florida State Courts website.
In the case of a marijuana offense, Florida drug courts will typically refer offenders to a marijuana program in order to treat their marijuana dependence, rather than punish them for it. Marijuana Rehabilitation Centers are private entities that must adhere to state guidelines in order to be used by participants of drug court. Also, Florida drug courts are fairly independent of one another, and each has different procedures and different requirements for which individuals can and cannot attend drug court rather than the regular court system. For the specific eligibility requirements of your local drug court, contact an experienced Florida marijuana lawyer or Florida criminal attorney.
Benefits to participating in drug court in Florida include:
- Attending a treatment program instead of going to jail or prison
- Greater likelihood that you will remain drug-free after the program
- Successful completion of the treatment program means your marijuana charges will be dismissed
- Some degree of choice over which treatment program you attend
Factors that can make you ineligible for some Florida drug courts:
- You are under 18
- You have prior felony convictions
- Your marijuana crime does not involve substance abuse
Even in cases where the potential penalties might not seem severe enough to necessitate participation in a marijuana treatment program, you may still wish to pursue drug court because of the benefit of having your marijuana charges dismissed. Obviously, having a charge dismissed is far preferable to having a conviction on your record, because convictions may have to be reported on job, school, and licensing applications.
Follow this link for more information about Florida Marijuana Laws and Florida Medical Marijuana Laws