Tampa Drug Attorneys are constantly asked this question by those individuals charged with first time drug offence. Before even exploring this issue, it’s first important to discuss how cases initially end up in drug court. In the court systems in the Tampa Bay area, the Clerk of Court automatically assign possession of controlled substance cases, which they initially believe will be eligible for the drug court program, into drug court divisions. For example, individuals charged with possession of cocaine, the clerk of court will do a cursory or quick glance of their prior criminal record, if/when they see no prior possession of controlled substance charges, the case goes into the drug court division.
Once the case is assigned to that drug court division, the State Attorney’s Office then begins their initial assessment and review of the file to determine whether the defendant is actually eligible for the drug court program. For example, many possession of controlled substance charges also have a delivery charge associated with it. If that charge is present, the State Attorney’s Office will not let that person complete the drug court program. This is especially frustrating to many folks, but the State Attorney’s Office has that power since they are a party to the administration of the drug court program. Unfortunately, this also includes situations where the manufacture of the controlled substance is associated to the possession of the controlled substance. For example, an individual is charged with a felony amount of marijuana. As we discussed elsewhere on our Tampa drug attorney blog, a felony amount of marijuana is only greater than 20g. This is a third degree felony resulting in a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison. If that individual is also charged with manufacture of marijuana, simply possessing a marijuana plant, the State Attorney’s Office will generally keep them out of drug court. Our Tampa Drug Attorneys will work with you to get you into that drug court program. Ultimately, that’s generally in most folk’s best interests as a first time offender.
We have had great success getting folks into drug court, when they normally are not initially permitted into the program. In our experience, the best ways to get a person back into that program are pointing out the legal deficiencies, search and seizure issues and any other potential legal defense to the manufacturing charge to get the state attorney’s office to either reduce or amend the charge.
If you have questions concerning a Tampa drug crime, contact the Tampa drug attorneys of Hackworth Law for a free case consultation. We’ve handled thousands of criminal cases throughout the entire Tampa Bay area. If you would like to contact one of our Tampa drug attorneys immediately, we have many available options. First, you can always call our Office, we have folks standing by 24 hours, 7 days a to take your calls. Secondly, you can always use the free, secure chat box in the lower right hand corner of our website. Lastly, you can always you use our “contact us now” tab in the upper right hand corner in the upper right hand corner of our website. We look forward to hearing from you and working with you.