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A. As a first time offender with a felony drug charge, a defendant can expect to have his or her case directed into Drug Court, where one will find the option of participating in the Drug Pretrial Intervention Program or DPTI. If this program is successfully completed by the defendant, the felony charge will be dismissed.
Q. What are the conditions of the Drug Pretrial Intervention Program?
A. Conditions of DPTI supervision are much more intensive than traditional probation. The program is tailored to each defendant depending on his or her needs and may require any combination of weekly drug screenings, weekly and biweekly court dates, weekly check-ins with a probation officer, fees associated with supervision, and community service. If the court determines the defendant is in need of therapy, the participation and completion of counseling or rehabilitative programs may be required to satisfy the conditions of the DPTI program. Because of the flexibility associated with the program, it is often categorized as alternative sentencing.
Q. Once I’ve been sent to Drug Court how should I decide whether to accept the DPTI Program or pursue other options?
A. Criminal Defense Attorney Andrew Shafii says, “Deciding whether or not you should remain in the program or defer out depends primarily on your drug and criminal history, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of your case.” In other words, if your charge is an isolated instance and you do not have a drug problem, you should consider deferring out of the program. Additionally, if the evidence posed against you is weak, you should consult with an attorney. The experienced criminal attorneys at the Law Office of Ameen and Shafii are former prosecutors who want to discuss your case today. Call us at 813-436-4357 for your free consultation.
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My client was charged with possession of cocaine and carrying a concealed firearm, both third degree felonies. He was facing up to 10 years in the Florida state prison for these charges. After I reviewed the police report, I discovered that the State would be unable to prove the charges against my client. Here is why…when an individual is charged with possession of a drug, the State must prove that they were actually in possession or constructively in possession. Actual possession means exactly what it sounds like, you had it in your hands, pocket, socks. Constructive possession is harder to prove. The State must prove three things 1) You knew the items were drugs 2) You knew where the drugs were located and 3) You had the ability to control the drugs. If you do not admit that the drugs were yours, it is hard for the State to prove the case against you. In this case, my client did not admit that the drugs were his and the State had to drop the cocaine charge. They also ended up dropping the firearms charge for the same reason, he didn’t have it in his possession. If you have a drug charge, call Mustafa Ameen, a Tampa criminal attorney, for a free review of your case.