Criminal Defense Attorney Advocates for Clients in Florida Drug Courts
Orlando trial lawyer pursues just and beneficial outcomes for drug offenses
Drug abuse and addiction are often the root causes of criminal behavior, including such offenses as DUI, assault, theft, burglary and child neglect. Punishing addicts rarely addresses the problem and often does little to prevent repeat offenses. Recognizing these facts, the Florida legislature created a system of drug courts designed to offer treatment and rehabilitation options to eligible offenders so they have an opportunity to correct their paths. The Law Offices of Tad A. Yates, P.A. provides representation in the drug courts existing throughout Florida. Drawing on decades of criminal law experience, Mr. Yates is a staunch advocate for clients diagnosed with substance abuse problems and seeks outcomes that help them make a positive change in their lives.
Eligibility requirements for Florida drug court
Florida’s drug courts are designed to provide treatment and rehabilitation options for addicted offenders. To be eligible, you must be assessed and diagnosed with a substance abuse problem. If you are presently charged with a felony, a criminal defense attorney may be able to secure a referral to a drug court program. Successful completion of such a program could result in the dismissal of charges against you.
Benefits of Florida drug court
Drug court allows offenders to avoid jail time and the mandatory two-year driver’s license suspension that can follow a DUI conviction. Cases are often handled as a form of pretrial intervention. Sentencing is suspended until you complete the program and charges are then dismissed, so there is no record of a conviction. In other cases, you might be convicted and placed on probation, but once you complete the program, probation is lifted and the conviction can be vacated. Another important benefit is getting treatment for a problem that can lead to a tragic end.
Requirements of the drug court program
Recovering from addiction is not easy. Drug court programs require fortitude and perseverance to complete. Although varying from court to court, each program follows a basic model that includes requirements like the following:
- Phase One — For the first 60 days, you must attend three group meetings per week, receive six individual counseling sessions and submit to random drug testing. You might meet with your judge every couple of weeks. To advance in the program, you must remain substance-free, which includes abstaining from alcohol, for 30 consecutive days.
- Phase Two — During the second 60 days, you attend two group meetings, one individual counseling session per week and two self-help meetings per week. Random testing continues and you continue to meet regularly with your judge. Again, to advance to the next phase, you must remain substance-free for 30 consecutive days.
- Phase Three — During this period, you attend one group session, one individual counseling session and three self-help meetings per week. You continue to submit to random drug testing and to meet with your judge. You must remain substance-free for 30 consecutive days.
- Aftercare — With the bulk of the program now completed, you need to maintain your sobriety until your program period ends. You must meet the same requirements but with less frequency.
A drug court program is demanding and violations are met with punishment, such as hours of community service. Repeated violations result in jail time and can void your eligibility to continue in the program.
Juvenile offenders with addiction problems may be eligible for similar programs in the juvenile court system. Mr. Yates represents both adults and juveniles in the drug courts.
Contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Orlando for a drug court consultation
The Law Offices of Tad A. Yates, P.A. in Orlando helps accused criminal offenders access the benefits of Florida’s drug courts to resolve substance abuse and addiction problems. For skillful representation, call the firm at 407-608-7777 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.