Florida Drug Crimes & Alternative Sentencing
Florida can be tough on drug offenders. However, for certain individuals charged with low-priority, non-violent drug crimes, Florida has enacted laws and procedures that offer opportunity and rehabilitation rather than stiff punishment alone.
Recognition of the failed “War on Drugs” and alarming incarceration rates across the U.S. have resulted in sweeping changes to how the judicial system processes and penalizes drug offenders. In Florida, the concept of alternative sentencing enables individuals accused to drug crimes to seek help, avoid incarceration, and, in some cases, be free of criminal records that can create unfair limitations well into their future.
Examples of alternative sentencing include:
- Drug court
- Treatment and counseling
- Probation / supervised release
- Community service
In Broward County, eligible drug offenders may have their sentence withheld in lieu of a defendant successfully complying with court orders that may consist of treatment / counseling, paying fees, and community service, among other court orders. For some individuals, successful completion of diversion programs can allow them to avoid a conviction and criminal record.
Although alternative sentencing, counseling, and treatment are available, they are not guaranteed. It is important to remember that each case is different, and that having an experienced lawyer by your side to walk you through the process is crucial to securing the positive outcome you need. Factors that may play a role in whether alternative sentencing may be an option in your case include:
- The nature of the crime
- The amount and type of drug involved
- A person’s criminal history
- Prior drug convictions
At Hager & Schwartz, P.A., our attorneys are former prosecutors who have spent decades working on both sides of the criminal justice system. We have worked with clients from all walks of life and have seen how the system has evolved to focus on supporting citizens who need help rather than branding them, making their lives more difficult, and perpetuating a cycle that burdens all involved.
Don’t leave anything to chance. Contact a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer from Hager & Schwartz, P.A.