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Drug Court in Tampa, FL

When compared with other types of criminal justice strategies, drug courts can provide better treatment outcomes, produce better cost benefits, and reduce crime. Drug court programs only work, however, for individuals who really need treatment for substance abuse issues.

If you were charged with a drug crime in Hillsborough County, then you might be eligible for the drug court diversion program in the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit in Tampa, FL. If you complete the program, your charges might be dropped completely.

Section 948.08, Florida Statutes, establishes various pretrial intervention programs within the State. To be eligible for admission into a drug court program under § 948.08(6)(a), Fla. Stat., the statute provides that a defendant must:

  1. be identified as having a substance abuse problem or charged with purchase or possession or other specified crimes;
  2. have no prior felony convictions, and
  3. not be charged with a crime involving violence.

The statute’s two enumerated exceptions to admission include:

  1. if a defendant rejected a previous offer to enter drug court; or
  2. if the state attorney establishes that the defendant was involved in drug dealing.

Attorney for Drug Court in Tampa, FL

Many of our clients want to opt out of drug court and fight their case in a regular criminal division. But for clients who want drug treatment, drug courts can provide important benefits including the chance to get the charges dropped completely.

An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you understand the pros and cons of entering drug court. We can also help you find pro-active ways to complete the conditions as quickly as possible.

Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Sammis Law Firm. Call 813-250-0500.

Hillsborough County Adult Drug Pretrial Intervention (DPTI)

To enter the Adult Drug Pretrial Intervention program in Hillsborough County, you might sign a contract agreeing to treatment for substance abuse treatment and rehabilitation.

The contract requires the state’s attorney office to drop the charges if you complete the special conditions listed in the contract.

In Hillsborough County, Judge Jack Espinosa, Jr. presides over drug court. Treatment is provided by several organizations, including the Drug Abuse Comprehensive Coordinating Office, Inc. (DACCO), Phoenix House, ACTS, Avon Park, First Step of Sarasota, Crossroads for Residential Programs, Operation PAR, Tri-County Addictions, and Westcare.

To be eligible for drug court, the defendant must admit they are addicted to drugs and want help recovering. Other eligibility requirements include:

  • being at least 18 years old;
  • not having a disqualifying felony record; and
  • signing a waiver of rights form.

Participants in drug court also report directly to Judge Espinosa to show their progress.

Treatment provided by DACCO includes group and individual counseling, group therapy, behavioral therapy, random blood and urine testing for drugs, and meetings with a probation officer.


Additional Resources

Contact Information for Drug Court in Tampa, FL – Visit the website of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit in Hillsborough County, FL, to find the contact information for the Drug Court Program Office. Drug court is a part of the Administrative Office of the Courts located at 800 E. Twiggs Street, Room 605, Tampa, Florida 33602. The program includes a drug court specialist for the Adult Post-Adjudication the Drug Court Expansion.

Drug Courts in Florida – Visit the website of the Florida Courts to find resources for the problem solving drug courts. Drug court programs include adult felony, adult misdemeanor, juvenile drug court, family dependency, and DUI drug court.


This article was last updated on Friday, April 12, 2019.

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