Criminal Defense Questions: Can I Get Drug Court With Two Prior Misdemeanors?

Question: I was arrested for possession of a controlled substance without a prescription. I have two prior cases of less than 20 grams of cannabis and drug paraphernalia in the same case. I read I can only get PTI/Drug Court as long as I have no more than one misdemeanor, is this true?

Amir’s Answer: The State Attorney’s Office reserves the right to grant or deny admission into the Pre Trial Diversion program based on any number of factors, not the least of which includes what you are charged with and what your prior record includes. Drug Court allows for a little more flexibility but the program tends to be much more involved and is more intensive. The decision to let you into diversion is not one of a set calculation, but one that relies, in part, on your interest in the program and your criminal lawyer’s ability to secure such an offer. It would serve you well to retain counsel to assist you in navigating this process. Some criminal defense attorney and law firms may even offer you a graduated fee schedule that discounts their fees if your case is resolved without litigation by going through diversion. If you’re successful in securing Pre Trial Diversion or Drug Court and the charges are dismissed, you may be eligible to have your record expunged (deleted) from your record.

Author: Amir Ladan
A former assistant state attorney for Orange/Osceola Counties, Amir has handled thousands of cases and dozens of trials, ranging from DUI and traffic offenses to murder, in both adult and juvenile court.
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