A drug conviction can hang over you like a stigma, affecting your reputation, your relationships and even possibly your career. Many of the clients in Naples that we here at The Calderone Law Group PA have represented have come to us looking for solutions to avoid having such an association haunt their lives and, if possible, avoid the criminal penalties that can come with a drug charge. If you are looking for similar assistance, you will be pleased to hear that Florida does indeed offer diversion programs that allow you to get past a drug arrest.
Depending on the circumstances of your arrest, you could be facing either a felony or misdemeanor charge. According to Section 948.08 of the Florida state statutes, the state offers a pretrial intervention program to any first-time offender charged with up to a third degree felony (you can also qualify if you have been previously convicted of a misdemeanor, provided that is the only conviction on your record and it was non-violent in nature). The purpose of this program is to divert your case away from the legal system and help you secure whatever assistance you may need in order to not reoffend, whether that be:
- Medical care
- Psychological treatment
The state attorney, the judge who presided at your initial hearing, and the administrator of the program must all agree to your participation. At the end of the predetermined intervention period, the judge will either dismiss the charges against you, order that you continue to participate in the assistance you are receiving for an additional period of time, or mandate that your case revert back to normal criminal channels if you have not followed the program’s guidelines. More information on dealing with a drug arrest can be found here on our site.