Program Description

Qualified citizen-defendants with pending felony (or misdemeanor) drug charges may voluntarily enter into Palm Beach County's Drug Court program. Citizen-defendants who do so will take part in a minimum year-long period of intensive addiction rehabilitation closely supervised the entire time by the Drug Court Judge and Drug Court Staff. The program may last longer than a year if a participant encounters problems in complying along the way.

This program is open to all people who have pending felony (or misdemeanor) drug charges other than trafficking or sales, so long as they have no crimes of violence on their prior criminal record (including no convictions for misdemeanor domestic battery), and no prior convictions for trafficking in illegal drugs of any nature. Unlike many Drug Courts, Palm Beach County's is open not just to first offenders but also to people with multiple prior convictions so long as none of those prior convictions were for one of the disqualifying types of offenses listed above.

Upon graduation from the program, a citizen-defendant's pending felony drug charge or charges are dropped. Upon graduation the citizen-defendant will also have had one year of drug free living as established by persistent random drug testing while in the program, and will possess the knowledge and tools he or she needs after leaving the program to remain drug free.

Many citizens with more than ten years of active addiction to drugs and/or alcohol, and some with considerably more than ten years of addiction, have successfully completed this program. Citizens from their teens to their seventies have successfully completed this program. The program is difficult to complete, but anyone who desires it, regardless of age, severity or length of addiction, can successfully complete this program.

Services Provided

The following are an example of services provided by the Drug Court:

  • Upon application for admission to the drug court the applicant has a comprehensive bio-social assessment performed. The clinical assessment determines the appropriate entrance phase specifically tailored to address the needs identified in the applicant's assessment.
  • The four-phase drug treatment program integrates substance abuse treatment, sanctions and incentives, with case management to involved defendants. Each phase consist of specified treatment objectives, therapeutic and rehabilitative activities and contain specific requirements for advancement into the next phase.
  • In coordination with a drug court judge, the drug court staff utilizes criminal justice partnerships to assist the defendant with supportive social services including, employment, educational/vocational, and transportation.

Program Locations

Partnerships with five (5) treatment providers allow Drug Court to offer out-patient services to participants who live throughout Palm Beach County. These providers offer individual counseling, group counseling and random drug testing at various times for the convenience of employed participants. Drug Court holds sessions from the Gun Club Criminal Justice Complex in West Palm Beach on Mondays and Thursdays.

Cost of Services

Each participant is required to pay $20.00 per week, to help off-set the cost of substance abuse counseling and drug testing.

Program Office Hours:

Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Related Administrative Orders

None.

 

 Contact Us

Program Coordinator:
Nicholas Fricke
 
Office:
Criminal Justice Complex
 
Room Number:
B-126
 
Telephone Number:

 Frequently Asked Questions

  • Question Mark IconWhat are the benefits of Drug Court for offenders who successfully complete the program?
    Answer:

    ​Clients are given the opportunity to participate in treatment and avoid incarceration while maintaining their employment. While participating in this program a client's driver's license will not be suspended as a result of this case; also, participants may avoid inpatient treatment as long as they succeed in the outpatient program. Program graduates are able to resolve their criminal case without a conviction, as charges are dropped upon successful completion, and first-time offender's records can be sealed or expunged.


  • Question Mark IconHow long does the Drug Court Program last?
    Answer:

    ​The Drug Court Program is a minimum of twelve months in length and is dependent on individual progress and compliance.


  • Question Mark IconWho is eligible for Drug Court?
    Answer:

    ​In order to enter drug court, a candidate must be charged with one of the following drug related felony charges: sale of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, attempted purchase of a controlled substance, obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, or possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell. A criminal record check must disclose no other pending felony charges, no prior violent felony convictions, and no domestic battery convictions. To enter the program the offender must be at least 18 years of age.


  • Question Mark IconHow is the Drug Court different from normal prosecution through Criminal Court?
    Answer:

    ​Drug Court is a team driven, non-adversarial court process, led by a Drug Court Judge. It is a prosecutorial diversion program in which pending substance abuse charge(s) are withheld for one year. If the defendant successfully completes the one-year minimum Drug Court program and meets all program criteria, the charge(s) will be dismissed.