Juvenile Drug Court

The courts in the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit in Palm Beach County enacted an Administrative Order 5.603–5/15 which explains delinquency drug court. The administrative order was signed by the Chief Judge in chambers at the courthouse in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, Florida, on the 5th day of May, 2015.

If the child is not guilty of the offense then entering drug court might not be the best option. Also, if the parents can afford private counseling, the child might be better off avoiding the state funded drug treatment program used by the state to group troubled children together. 

Our attorneys are experienced in working with the team members in juvenile drug court. We can help you understand the best strategies for resolving these cases with the judge, probation officer, and prosecutor.  

Attorney for Juvenile Drug Court Cases in Palm Beach County, FL

The attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. represent minor children and juveniles throughout West Palm Beach and the courthouses in Palm Beach County after an allegation that the child committed a criminal offense. 

Call (561) 557-8686 today to discuss your case or your child’s case. The firm's juvenile defense attorneys can help you understand the juvenile justice system and the best ways to resolve the case so that the rights of your child are protected against a false or exaggerated allegation. 

Benefits of Delinquency Drug Courts in Palm Beach County, FL

According to a national research study, four out of every five children and teens (ages 10-17) in the juvenile justice system (1.9 out of 2.4 million arrests) are either under the influence of alcohol or drugs while committing a crime, test positive for drugs, are arrested for committing an alcohol or drug offense, admit to having substance abuse and addiction problems, or share some combination of these characteristics. 

A reduction in juvenile substance abuse can make a significant impact on the community by reducing law enforcement and detention/jail costs while promoting public safety. Pursuant to the authority conferred by Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.215, the court established a “Delinquency Drug Court” for the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit of Florida. 

Charges for minor in possession of alcohol are the most common types of charges. Other charges including posssession of marijuana or marijuana drug paraphernalia.

The treatment portion of the program will consist of a three-phase treatment model, including individual and group counseling, random urinalysis and other support services. Participants for the program will be selected by the Drug Court Team. 

Eligibility for Juvenile Drug Court in Palm Beach County, FL

A youth is eligible to enter the program if the following conditions are satisfied:

  1. The Participant must be between the ages of 14 and 17
  2. Reside in Palm Beach County
  3. Youth and advocate agree to participate; and
  4. Participant must meet ONE of the following criteria (b1, b2, b3 or b3): 

1) 985.345 CASES: Meets criteria as outlined in F.S. 985.345 

a) Has not previously been adjudicated for a felony; and

b) Is charged with a felony of the second or third degree for: 

i) Purchase or possession of a controlled substance under Chapter 893;

ii) Tampering with evidence; 

iii) Solicitation for purchase of a controlled substance; or

iv) Obtaining a prescription by fraud

Juvenile Deferred Prosecution Cases

Any filed misdemeanor or non-violent, second or third degree felony offense(s) where youth or juvenile is not on Probation and WITH WRITTEN AGREEMENT FROM THE OFFICE OF THE STATE ATTORNEY where:

  1. There is evidence of a substance abuse problem;
  2. Victim is in agreement (only on victim cases);
  3. Youth has not been enrolled in a diversion program for a felony non-drug offense;
  4. Youth has not previously been found to have committed a non- Chapter 893 felony;
  5. Youth has not previously been found to have committed more than 2 felony drug offenses;
  6. Youth is not charged with a firearm, sale of controlled substance or a sex offense; and
  7. Youth has not previously participated (signed contract) in any juvenile drug court.

Juvenile Probation Cases in Palm Beach County, FL

The juvenile might be placed in Delinquency Drug Court as a condition of Probation or is currently on Probation and requests to modify Probation. Entering deliquency drug court can occur even if the youth has not previously participated (signed contract) in any juvenile drug court (youth either completed or was unsuccessfully terminated prior to current charge(s) being filed).

Additionally, the youth is eligible for this program only if the child has not been charged with any offense involving a firearm, sale of controlled substance or a sex offense.  

The Team in Delinquency Drug Court in Palm Beach County

The criminal defense attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. are experienced in representing young people charged with a crime within the juvenile justice system. Our attorneys are experienced in working closely with all members of the "Delinquency Drug Court Team" will consist of the following:

  • Delinquency Drug Court Judge;
  • Delinquency Drug Court Coordinator;
  • State Attorney (Juvenile);
  • Public Defender (Juvenile);
  • treatment provider(s);
  • Department of Juvenile Justice representative;
  • Youth Court representative;
  • Clerk of Court representative;
  • Juvenile Case Manager; and
  • a school representative. 

The Delinquency Drug Court Team shall meet prior to each Drug Court session to review current cases and make determinations on new referrals. 

Staffing will be conducted by the Delinquency Drug Court Team to determine if potential candidates will be admitted into Delinquency Drug Court. If a youth is accepted intoDelinquency Drug Court, the youth and his/her advocate agree to participate in Delinquency Drug Court and will be required to successfully complete the program. 

This article was last updated on Friday, October 15, 2016.

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