Misdemeanor Drug Court is one of four county court diversion programs (the others are Mental Health Court, Veteran Treatment Court, and DUI Court). Misdemeanor Drug Court’s goal is to reduce drug abuse and criminal acts through treatment and educating offenders. The focus of drug court is centered more so on addressing the underlying issue that may cause criminal behavior and rehabilitation versus the traditional punishment commonly associated with the criminal justice system. For more information about Marion County laws or drug offenses and the legal system speak with an experienced attorney.
So, who is eligible for the Misdemeanor Drug Court Program? Well, if you have been charged with a misdemeanor controlled substance charge (for example, possession of cannabis less than 20 grams), possession of paraphernalia, or possession of alcohol under 21 years of age, you may be eligible. Additionally, other misdemeanor offenses may be considered for possible participation as well.
Next, you cannot have been previously convicted of a felony. You must be a citizen of Marion County, you must waive speedy trial, and you must participate voluntarily. Finally, the Judge who is presiding over Drug Court must approve the application.
There are three phases within the program. Phases I consists of a minimum of six (6) weeks, during which a person will be randomly drug-screened, must attend two peer support meetings a week, maintain a weekly journal, attend court once a week, schedule an evaluation and begin any recommended treatment and seek or maintain employment. Once a person successfully completes Phase I, they are moved to Phase II, which lasts for a minimum of twelve (12) weeks.
While in Phase II, a person must still attend a minimum of two peer support meetings, maintain a journal, attend recommended treatment sessions, complete a substance abuse course, submit to random screens, and attend court two times a month.
Once a person successfully completes Phase II, they move up to Phase III. Phase III lasts a minimum of six (6) weeks, during which a person must still submit to random screens, attend two peer support group meetings a week, maintain a journal, attend any recommend treatments, and complete a relapse plan and pay all fees in full.
Once a person successfully completes all three phases of the Misdemeanor Drug Court Program, the criminal charge against them is dismissed.
If you were arrested or charged with a misdemeanor drug offense in Marion County, it is important to speak with an attorney that is not only knowledgeable in the legal aspects of DUI but also in the options that you may have and the options that each individual county offers.
Call Meldon Law at 352-373-8000 to make an apportionment to speak with an attorney for a free consultation.