Lawson E. Thomas Courthouse Center
175 NW 1st Avenue
Miami FL 33128
Contact Us
GENERAL PUBLIC  |  ATTORNEYS  |  EDUCATORS  |  MEDIA  |  JURORS
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR ADULT DRUG COURT

How is Miami-Dade County's Drug Court different from normal prosecution through Criminal Court?

Who is eligible for Drug Court?

How long does the Program last?

How does the Program work?

What are the benefits of Drug Court for offenders who successfully complete the Program?

How does the Drug Court judge monitor each participant's progress in treatment?

What happens if Drug Court participants fail to comply with the Program's requirements?

How do clients "graduate" from Drug Court?

Who do I call if I have scheduling questions for Judge Jeffrey Rosinek?

Who do I contact for more information about Miami-Dade County's Drug Court?

Who do I call if I am a person with a disability who needs assistance?


How is Miami-Dade County's Drug Court different from normal prosecution through Criminal Court?
Drug Court is a diversion and treatment program. Defendants with substance abuse problems are not prosecuted and punished for their addiction.  Instead, intensive treatment and rehabilitation is used to help offenders succeed in becoming and remaining drug-free.

Participation is voluntary.
The judge plays an essential role in monitoring participants' progress in treatment, supporting positive behavior and dispensing immediate sanctions for non-compliance with Program requirements. The

Drug Court team is led by the judge and includes the defense and prosecution attorneys, treatment staff and other court related personnel that understand the recovery process and work together to help clients succeed.

The courtroom setting is non-adversarial. Attorneys are generally quiet in Court to allow frequent conversation between the judge and defendant.

Who is eligible for Drug Court?
Drug Court eligibility is governed by Florida Statute 948.08(6)(a).  Generally, a defendant must be charged with possessing or purchasing drugs and the State Attorney must agree to divert the offender from prosecution.  Defendants who have a history of violent crime, have been arrested for drug sale or trafficking, or have more than two previous nondrug felony convictions are typically ineligible.

How long does the Program last?
The program lasts a minimum of 12 months per statutory requirement.  However, Drug Court clients may spend 18 months or more in the Program, depending on how well they comply with  requirements.  

How does the program work?
After booking, defendants are screened for eligibility at the Pretrial Detention Center. In Court, the judge explains the program to new defendants, making it clear that they should expect a minimum of a year of treatment, that it may be a difficult process, but that everyone involved will give them all the help they need.  Defendants will be assessed and then referred to an appropriate treatment program based on their needs. They will have regular urine tests and must return to Court frequently for review of their progress.  Those who refuse or withdraw from the Program are sent to Criminal Court where a conviction may involve jail time. Defendants who volunteer for Drug Court sign an agreement to participate in the program. Counselors and the Court exercise a great deal of discretion and flexibility in tailoring treatment plans to meet the needs of each client to optimize individuals' abilities to successfully progress. 

What are the benefits of Drug Court for offenders who successfully complete the Program? Those who successfully complete will have no conviction on their records, a significant benefit in future employment and career opportunities. First-time offenders will have their case nolle prosequi and their records can be sealed or expunged. For other offenders, the case may be dismissed or have adjudication withheld.  Most importantly, clients who have a sincere desire to get off drugs are offered the opportunity to avoid further problems with the law and free themselves of life consuming troubles caused by substance abuse.  

How does the Drug Court judge monitor each participant's progress in treatment? 
The court works in collaboration with several community service providers who may also appear in court to provide verbal reports on the client's progress, in addition to the written reports. The judge may choose to be supportive or dispense a sanction, depending on each individual's progress through the Program.

What happens if Drug Court participants fail to comply with the Program's requirements?
If clients consistently fail to comply with Program requirements, they may be removed from the Program and prosecuted in Criminal Court. If convicted, they may serve time in jail. However, only as a last resort, does the Court remove a client from the Program. The judge, staff and counselors work hard to find a way for treatment to work and participants to succeed. If a relapse occurs, the counselor reviews the events that came before the lapse to help the person cope with feelings or events that triggered drug use.  The treatment plan may be changed to include more counseling, fellowship meetings and Court appearances, which are not viewed as sanctions, but rather as treatment responses.  If positive test results become too frequent, the judge may reassign the client to an earlier phase of the Program or require residential treatment.  

How do clients "graduate" from Drug Court?
When clients have completed the minimum requisite one-year treatment program and no longer need further monitoring or case management services, the counselor recommends discharge to the judge, who makes the final decision.  Both the treatment counselor and the judge examine participants' overall recovery.

Who do I call if I have scheduling questions for Judge Jeri B. Cohen?
Please contact the judge's judicial assistant, Xenia Cotarelo, at (305) 548-5103.  

Who do I contact for more information about Miami-Dade County's Drug Court?
Please contact Diana Diaz, Drug Court Coordinator at (305) 548-5135, or you may write to her at:  Richard E. Gerstein Justice Building, Room 103, 1351 N.W. 12th Street, Miami FL 33125.  

Who do I call if I am a person with a disability who needs assistance?
Please contact ADA Coordinator, at:
Voice Mail: (305) 349-7175
TDD: (305) 349-7174
Fax No:. (305) 349-7355
Email:. ADA@jud11.flcourts.org
 
 

Stay Connected
rss feed icon rss feed icon twitter icon Twitter

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS icon
Emergency Information
Hotline (305) 349-7777
TDD (305) 349-7174

image of a vwheel chair
Americans with Disabilities Act
Voice Mail (305) 349-7175
E-Mail ADA@jud11.flcourts.org