Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. understands how devastating a drug charge can be. If convicted for trafficking, for example, you could face up to 15 years in state or federal prison. These consequences can uproot your very existence, from a ruined career to altered relationships.
Do not be taken advantage of. Sarasota drug lawyer Erika Valcarcel will listen to your side of the story and absorb every detail. From there she can argue on your behalf with the court and prosecutors that a drug diversion program is the best option. Call Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. now at (941) 363-7900 to see how attorney Valcarcel can fight for your rights.
Drug Diversion Programs in Florida
The state of Florida offers a number of drug diversion programs for adults that serve as alternatives to traditional sentencing. They act as avenues for avoiding spending time in jail or prison, with some even leading to criminal charges being dismissed. However, the requirements for these programs are strict and can include remaining crime-free and taking random drug tests. Without the help of a qualified Sarasota drug attorney, knowing how to access these programs and how to complete them successfully can be difficult.
Pre-Trial Intervention Program
Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) is a program run through the Florida Department of Corrections (DOC). In general, this program is designed for first-time offenders who meet a number of requirements. PTI requires individuals to participate in probation-like activities. Typical requirements include paying supervision fees, community service, random drug tests, and counseling. PTI is unique in that, unlike probation, completion of a pre-trial intervention program will lead to all charges being dismissed.
Only first-time offenders or those who have been convicted of no more than one non-violent misdemeanor such as drug offenses or thefts qualify for PTI. In addition, entry into the program depends heavily on the approval of the judge, the state attorney, and any potential victim. These parties have the power to prevent an individual’s participation in this drug diversion program.
Marijuana Drug Diversion Programs in Florida
The facts and circumstances involving a marijuana-related drug charge are important when determining what your legal options may be. There are multiple defenses available when you are facing criminal drug charges. If you are eligible, you may be permitted to enter a drug diversion program. An experienced marijuana defense attorney will be able to recommend the best option for you. Every diversion program has certain criteria you must meet in order to be entered, including the details around your existing case and how high at risk you may be to commit the same offense again.
Drug Court Program
Drug Court is designed specifically for those who have entered the legal system due to addiction. Its purpose is to help those with drug problems reenter society as productive members. In addition, this program has more intensive monitoring than PTI. Components of Drug Court typically include case management, drug testing, individual/group counseling, and frequent court appearances. Much like Pre-Trial Intervention, those who successfully complete the Drug Court program become eligible to have their charges dismissed.
A wide range of individuals qualify for Drug Court diversion. These people include, but are not limited to:
- Those who have committed nonviolent drug-related crimes
- Those who have violated the terms of their substance abuse probation
- Those who admit drug addiction
- Those who have not participated in a Drug Court program previously
Juvenile Diversion Alternative Program
Another diversion program that serves youth offenders is the Juvenile Diversion Alternative Program (JDAP). JDAP is available for youth 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 youth who are misdemeanor offenders, misdemeanor offenders with prior adjudications, second-time misdemeanor offenders with prior adjudications, violent first-degree misdemeanor offenders, or first-time third-degree felony offenders.
Once admitted into JDAP, a youth offender is assigned a case manager who provides supervision, develops individualized case plans that identify needs and contains clear corrective action steps, and provides necessary outside referrals for services. The program includes random urinalysis for monitoring youth with a history of substance abuse, counseling services, educational training, or vocation services.
Let Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. Protect Your Freedom
A skilled Sarasota drug attorney can be instrumental in helping you gain access to a drug diversion program. With an intricate understanding of the laws surrounding these programs, a skilled Sarasota criminal defense attorney can make recommendations to the court and prosecution on your behalf. Further, your legal representative can present an argument that outlines why a diversion program would be a suitable alternative to incarceration. Perhaps you are struggling with addiction, or maybe you have never received help in the past. Whatever the reason, a qualified Sarasota drug attorney like Erika Valcarcel can help you avoid a criminal record as well as time spent behind bars.
Attorney Erika Valcarcel has spent time on both sides of the courtroom with experience as both a prosecutor and a defender. Therefore, she can anticipate the prosecution’s strategy and construct and effective defense. She will work tirelessly to gather all of the information in order to present your case in the best possible light. Call (941) 363-7900 to see how she can help you avoid time behind bars.