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Drug Court

Drug Court programs allow alleged offenders arrested for certain nonviolent controlled substance offenses to enter probationary programs and possibly avoid any terms of incarceration. Additionally, successful completion of a drug dourt program can also result in the original underlying criminal charges being dismissed and allowing alleged offender to seal or expunge arrests from their criminal records.

Alachua County has a drug court program, but individuals participating in the program must comply with a number of strict requirements. If a participant violates the terms of the drug court program, it can result in the alleged offender's criminal case being transferred back to the court and strict penalties such as a jail or prison sentence and large fines possibly being imposed.

Attorney for Drug Court in Gainesville, FL

Were you recently arrested in north central Florida for an alleged criminal offense involving a controlled substance? Do not say anything to authorities without legal representation. You will want to contact Galigani Law Firm as soon as possible.

Our experienced criminal defense lawyers in Gainesville represent first-time offenders accused of all sorts of drug crimes in several communities in and around Gainesville, including many surrounding areas in Marion County, Levy County, Gilchrist County, and Alachua County.

Call (352) 375-0812 right now to take advantage of a free initial consultation that will let our attorneys provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case.


Overview of Drug Court in Alachua County


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Drug Court Eligibility in Gainesville

Under Florida Statute § 948.08(6)(a), a person is eligible for voluntary admission into a pretrial substance abuse education and treatment intervention program for a period of at least one year so long as he or she:

  • is charged with a nonviolent felony and is identified as having a substance abuse problem or is charged with a felony of the second or third degree for purchase or possession of a controlled substance, prostitution, tampering with evidence, solicitation for purchase of a controlled substance, or obtaining a prescription by fraud;
  • has not been charged with a crime involving violence, such as: murder, sexual battery, robbery, carjacking, home-invasion robbery, or any other crime involving violence; and
  • has not previously been convicted of a felony.

If an alleged offender was previously offered admission to a pretrial substance abuse education and treatment intervention program at any time prior to trial and rejected that offer on the record, or if the state attorney establishes, by a preponderance of the evidence at a preadmission hearing, that the alleged offender was involved in the dealing or selling of controlled substances, the state attorney can deny an alleged offender's admission to the program.

Florida Statute § 948.08(6)(b) establishes that an alleged offender is subject to a coordinated strategy developed by a drug court team that can include a protocol of sanctions that may be imposed upon the alleged offender for noncompliance with program rules.

The coordinated strategy must be provided in writing to the alleged offender before he or she agrees to enter into a pretrial treatment-based drug court program or other pretrial intervention program.

At the end of the pretrial intervention period, the court will consider the recommendation of the administrator and the recommendation of the state attorney as to the disposition of the pending charges.

The court will dismiss the criminal charges if it finds that the alleged offender successfully completed the pretrial intervention program, but it may order the alleged offender to continue education and treatment or order that the charges revert to normal channels for prosecution if the alleged offender does not successfully complete the pretrial intervention program.


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Alachua County Drug Court Programs

Eligibility criteria for the Alachua County Felony Drug Court Program includes:

  • The charge is a nonviolent felony offense;
  • The alleged offender is not currently on state probation or Violation of Probation status for any felony offense;
  • If charged with a property offense, the alleged offender can be admitted if restitution issues are addressed;
  • Sale of a controlled substance or possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute charges are eligible at the discretion of the state attorney's office; and
  • If an alleged offender's criminal history indicates a failure to appear in court risk or risk to violate, but is otherwise eligible for drug court, placement is available in Work Release for a minimum of 90 days, allowing the alleged offender to attend drug court activities and pursue employment.

The Alachua County Felony Drug Court Program includes three phases, all of which include random urinalysis, case management, group sessions, and court appearances. The first phase is one month in length and requires three consecutive weeks of sobriety in order to progress to the next phase and receive a Deferred Prosecution Agreement.

Each of the next two phases is a minimum of 90 days in length. A minimum of 90 consecutive days of sobriety are required to progress from the second phase to the third phase. Overall, the average length of Adult Felony Drug Court is between 12 and 18 months, and successful completion results in criminal charges being nolle prossed ("nolle prosequi" is Latin for "we shall no longer prosecute") by the Office of the State Attorney.


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Drug Court Resources in Florida

Alachua County Drug Court | Eighth Judicial Circuit — Visit this section of the State Attorney's Office website to learn more about the Alachua County Drug Court. You can find information about eligibility, program requirements, and sanctions. The website also has information about drug court screening.

Eighth Judicial Circuit State Attorney's Office
120 W. University Ave.
Gainesville, FL 32601
(352) 374-3670

Drug Court | Alachua County — Visit this website for additional information about Alachua County Drug Court programs. This website discusses pretrial diversion and post-plea options. You can also learn more about fees and populations served.


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Galigani Law Firm | Gainesville Drug Court Lawyer

If you were arrested for any kind of alleged criminal offense involving a controlled substance in north central Florida, it will be in your best interest to exercise your right to remain silent until you have legal counsel. Galigani Law Firm represents individuals in Baker County, Bradford County, Union County, Columbia County, and many other surrounding areas of Gainesville.

Gainesville criminal defense attorney Dean Galigani is Board Certified in Criminal Trial Law by the Florida Bar. He will review your case and discuss all of your legal options as soon as you call (352) 375-0812 or complete an online contact form to schedule a free, confidential consultation.



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