The Advantages & Disadvantages of Florida Drug Courts

The Advantages & Disadvantages of Florida Drug Courts

The criminal justice system can be an unforgiving system that holds offenders accountable (sometimes to an extreme). When it comes to crimes involving drugs, there may be an opportunity for rehabilitation from addiction, a clinical illness, rather than simply punishing that individual with fines and prison time.

In Florida, the state has ‘drug courts’ designated to handle cases where a defendant may benefit greater from treatment than punishment. This path has both advantages and disadvantages for defendants to consider.

Advantages of Florida Drug Courts:

  • Voluntary program
  • Typically available to first-time offenders charged with a misdemeanor or third-degree felony drug offense
  • Access to group and individual counseling
  • Professional help with addiction
  • Those who successfully complete the program may have their charges dropped

Disadvantages of Florida Drug Courts:

  • Defendant must plead guilty to the charge (criminal record)
  • Early morning court appearances
  • Frequent drug testing
  • Progress reported to courts by counselors (must show progress)
  • Must actively participate in recovery
  • Possible punishments if deviate from the program’s guidelines

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