Drug Court is a form of pretrial intervention that is offered around the State of Florida, including the 19th Circuit that encompasses Martin County, St. Lucie County, Indian River County and Okeechobee Counties and the 15 Circuit which includes Palm Beach and Glades Counties. Drug Court is not a traditional pretrial intervention program, as participants are required to plead Guilty or No Contest prior to entering the Drug Court Program. If participants complete the Drug Court Program, their plea of Guilty or No Contest is set aside and the charges are dropped. Who is Eligible For Drug Court?Drug Court is generally for first time drug possession offenders with no prior felony record. That said, some jurisdictions are less stringent about this requirement. The 15th Circuit can be, the 19th Circuit is not. Drug Court is not intended for Drug Dealers or traffickers, or people accused of crimes unrelated to drug use. It is offered in most, if not all felony jurisdictions at this point. Some counties also offer Drug Court in misdemeanor cases as well. It is also offered in Dependency Cases where the State of Florida is looking to remove children from their parent’s care due to drug activity. What Are the Requirements for Drug Court?Drug Court is basically divided up into 3 phases. Each Drug Court jurisdiction has a slightly different take on these phases, and how participants progress to the next. Generally, participants are required to have a substance abuse evaluation to determine their level of use, and the treatment plant that they should follow. Most people progress right to phase 1. In extreme circumstances, some participants are told that if they want to do Drug Court, they must begin with in patient treatment at a residential facility. Drug Court is an optional program, so if the requirements are too stringent, potential participants may choose another alternative. But again, Drug Court is one of the few, and in some cases the only alternative that ends with the charges being dropped. During the first phase of Drug Court, participants must attend court weekly, as well as attend group and individual treatment sessions with a therapist and several AA or NA meetings per week. Again this is a general description and in the end, the treatment provider will determine the number of times you attend each. During the second phase of Drug Court, the court appearances and treatment sessions are slightly reduced. In the third phase of Drug Court, they are reduced again. Throughout the program there are several random drug screens. Drug Court is a great option for keeping a Drug Charge off your record. If you would like more information about Drug Court, or if you would like a free confidential consultation about your situation, contact the Ferraro Law Group today to start letting our experience work for you.