A person charged with certain drug charges is eligible for drug court, and upon successful completion may be able to have his or her record expunged.
948.08 Pretrial intervention program.—
(6)(a)…A person who 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 under chapter 893, prostitution, tampering with evidence, solicitation for purchase of a controlled substance, or obtaining a prescription by fraud; who has not been charged with a crime involving violence, including, but not limited to, murder, sexual battery, robbery, carjacking, home-invasion robbery, or any other crime involving violence; and who has not previously been convicted of a felony is eligible for voluntary admission into a pretrial substance abuse education and treatment intervention program, including a treatment-based drug court program established pursuant to s. 397.334, approved by the chief judge of the circuit, for a period of not less than 1 year in duration, upon motion of either party or the court’s own motion, except:
1.If a defendant was previously offered admission to a pretrial substance abuse education and treatment intervention program at any time prior to trial and the defendant rejected that offer on the record, then the court or the state attorney may deny the defendant’s admission to such a program.
2.If the state attorney believes that the facts and circumstances of the case suggest the defendant’s involvement in the dealing and selling of controlled substances, the court shall hold a preadmission hearing. If the state attorney establishes, by a preponderance of the evidence at such hearing, that the defendant was involved in the dealing or selling of controlled substances, the court shall deny the defendant’s admission into a pretrial intervention program.
(b)While enrolled in a pretrial intervention program authorized by this subsection, the participant is subject to a coordinated strategy developed by a drug court team under s. 397.334(4). The coordinated strategy may include a protocol of sanctions that may be imposed upon the participant for noncompliance with program rules. The protocol of sanctions may include, but is not limited to, placement in a substance abuse treatment program offered by a licensed service provider as defined in s. 397.311 or in a jail-based treatment program or serving a period of incarceration within the time limits established for contempt of court. The coordinated strategy must be provided in writing to the participant before the participant agrees to enter into a pretrial treatment-based drug court program or other pretrial intervention program. Any person whose charges are dismissed after successful completion of the treatment-based drug court program, if otherwise eligible, may have his or her arrest record and plea of nolo contendere to the dismissed charges expunged under s. 943.0585.
(c)At the end of the pretrial intervention period, the court shall consider the recommendation of the administrator pursuant to subsection (5) and the recommendation of the state attorney as to disposition of the pending charges. The court shall determine, by written finding, whether the defendant has successfully completed the pretrial intervention program. Notwithstanding the coordinated strategy developed by a drug court team pursuant to s. 397.334(4), if the court finds that the defendant has not successfully completed the pretrial intervention program, the court may order the person to continue in education and treatment, which may include substance abuse treatment programs offered by licensed service providers as defined in s. 397.311 or jail-based treatment programs, or order that the charges revert to normal channels for prosecution. The court shall dismiss the charges upon a finding that the defendant has successfully completed the pretrial intervention program.
(d)Any entity, whether public or private, providing a pretrial substance abuse education and treatment intervention program under this subsection must contract with the county or appropriate governmental entity, and the terms of the contract must include, but need not be limited to, the requirements established for private entities under s. 948.15(3). (7)The department may contract for the services and facilities necessary to operate pretrial intervention programs.