Drug Charge FAQ

What is drug diversion?

In Florida, many jurisdictions have a drug court or a pre-trial diversion program that is drug-specific, meaning for drug offenses. As long as they don’t believe that you are dealing drugs, you may qualify to go through a pre-trial diversion program that would afford you an opportunity to get treatment for your drug and alcohol issue, but also to earn a dismissal of the charge by reporting to the program, providing random urine samples to show that you’re staying clean, doing various community service hours in other sanctions, and participating in active and on-going counseling and treatment. The benefit of these programs is it lightens the load of the courts in that they’re taking these cases out of the courts. The benefit to you is clear, you’re earning a dismissal of the charge, which might then allow you to have the record expunged after the case is closed.

What types of sentences can you receive in drug possession cases

Sentences and drug possession can vary. For example, someone who has a first offense or a minimal criminal history might qualify to do pretrial diversion or drug court diversion which would allow you to earn a dismissal of the charge by doing certain things that are required of you through that program. From there, you could be potentially put on probation if you don’t qualify for diversion. Probation would require monthly reporting, counseling and treatment, random urinalysis. From there, you could be required to serve some jail time. Sometimes sentences are split sentences meaning you’ll do some jail and some probation to follow. In more serious offenses and in cases where your record may not be as good, there’s always the possibility that you could go to prison on a felony drug possession charge. That’s the full range, or spectrum, of potential sentences in drug cases.

Will I go to jail for a possession charge?

Typically, possession charges don’t warrant jail, but there are a lot of factors involved. What are you possessing? If you’re possessing marijuana jail is very unlikely these days. If you’re possessing a controlled substance, it’s more likely. If you’re possessing a dangerous drug like methamphetamines or heroin, jail is much more likely.

Other facts include the circumstances around your case. What are the facts of your case. Are there any aggravators that might cause the judge to be concerned? They’re also going to look at your criminal history and assess what the circumstances might call for. All of those play a role in the reality of whether jail is a component in your sentence. Of course we’re talking about sentencing from the standpoint of the case has been evaluated and you’ve determined that you don’t wish to litigate, but yes, it’s always a possibility.

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