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Do You Qualify for Pinellas County Drug Court?

July 31, 2020

The Pinellas County Drug Court is a diversion program that helps offenders who have substance use disorder avoid prison time. Voluntary participants accepted into the program undergo intensive, court-supervised addiction therapy and qualify for dismissed charges upon completion.

If you face substance-related charges in Pinellas County and struggle with drugs or alcohol, learn more about whether you may be eligible for Drug Court in Florida.

Who Is Eligible?

You may qualify for Drug Court if you face third-degree felony charges or nonviolent second-degree felony charges and have no prior violent felony convictions. You must also qualify for a jail term of fewer than 52 months based on Florida sentencing guidelines. The program is open only to individuals who have received a treatment recommendation after substance use disorder screening. If you meet these requirements and want to participate, you and your attorney must seek approval from the State Attorney’s Office.

What Does Drug Court Entail?

If you qualify for Pinellas County Drug Court, the judge will convert your sentence to 24 months probation. You must:

  • Attend drug treatment as indicated by the screening health care provider

  • Abstain from using drugs and alcohol, with clean drug tests for at least 180 days

  • Obtain your GED or high school diploma if applicable

  • Attend monthly judicial review sessions with the judge supervising your case

  • Pay the required court costs

  • Meet the terms of probation

Upon enrollment, you will receive placement in either a residential or outpatient treatment program. After 12 successful months in the program, you can apply for dismissal of the remainder of your probation. Most people can complete Drug Court within 24 months of entry.

You may also qualify for transitional housing when you graduate from Drug Court, which can help you maintain a sober living environment. The state reports that fewer of 8% of participants have another criminal charge within 12 months of graduation. Fewer than 16% of graduates reoffend within 24 months of graduation.