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Drugs charges in Florida and the Marchman Act

On Behalf of | Jan 12, 2024 | CRIMINAL LAW - Criminal Law

There are many people in Broward County and the rest of Florida who are facing drug possession charges. In many of those cases, the accused is just a drug user who has no intention to conspire in the drug trade in any way – in other words, a drug addict.

The Marchman Act

To address the underlying health and social issues that stem from drugs, and alcohol, addiction, the Florida legislature passed the Hal S. Marchman Alcohol and Other Drug Services Act in 1993. It is enshrined in Chapter 397 of the Florida Statutes and is a law that deals with “substance abuse prevention, intervention and treatment services.”

Commonly known as the Marchman Act, the law allows “voluntary or involuntary assessment, stabilization and treatment of a person abusing or addicted to drugs or alcohol.” The intention of the law is to help ensure that the person suffering from substance abuse or addiction can cope with it in a healthy and safe manner.

How the law operates

A petition under the Marchman Act can be filed voluntarily by the accused. However, if the accused is not filing voluntarily, it is also possible for a third person to file a petition in the interest of the accused. Some examples of that third person include spouses, family members, guardians, doctors, or any three persons who are aware of accused’s impairment.

The law, however, does not provide an easy exit from legal proceedings for just about anyone accused of drug possession. There are various criteria that need to be satisfied for the Marchman Act to apply. Upon filing of the petition, a circuit court judge hears the petition and then decide whether the law will apply to a particular case or not.

Legal proceedings under the law

If you wish to understand how legal representation can protect your rights during proceedings under the Marchman Act, you may want to visit the Marchman Act page on our website. The attorneys at the Law Office of Michael A. Gottlieb, P.A. are experienced in defending against drug charges, both at the state and at the federal level.