948.16 Misdemeanor pretrial substance abuse education and treatment intervention program.—
(1)(a) A person who is charged with a misdemeanor for possession of a controlled substance or drug paraphernalia under chapter 893, and who has not previously been convicted of a felony nor been admitted to a pretrial program, is eligible for voluntary admission into a misdemeanor 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 based on the program requirements and the treatment plan for the offender, upon motion of either party or the court’s own motion, except, if the state attorney believes the facts and circumstances of the case suggest the defendant is involved in dealing and selling 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 dealing or selling controlled substances, the court shall deny the defendant’s admission into the pretrial intervention program.
(b) While enrolled in a pretrial intervention program authorized by this section, 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.
(2) At the end of the pretrial intervention period, the court shall consider the recommendation of the treatment program and the recommendation of the state attorney as to disposition of the pending charges. The court shall determine, by written finding, whether the defendant 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 or return the charges to the criminal docket for prosecution. The court shall dismiss the charges upon finding that the defendant has successfully completed the pretrial intervention program.
(3) Any public or private entity providing a pretrial substance abuse education and treatment program under this section shall contract with the county or appropriate governmental entity. The terms of the contract shall include, but not be limited to, the requirements established for private entities under s. 948.15(3).
History.—s. 4, ch. 2001-48; s. 9, ch. 2006-97; s. 6, ch. 2009-64.