Broward criminal lawyer William Moore knows that drug problems are a problem in Florida. Every day, people in Coconut Creek, Fort Lauderdale, and throughout the south Florida metropolitan area are arrested for possession, trafficking, and selling controlled substances. Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney Moore notes that these substances include prescription drugs like Xanax and pain medications as well as more traditional illegal drugs like marijuana, powder and crack cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin. Police investigate the crimes and the local State Attorney’s Office prosecutes the crime.
Although certain types of controlled substance offenses (drug crimes) are most effectively handled by the criminal justice system, others are not. Broward criminal attorney Moore believes that trafficking in very large quantities of drugs, particularly when the shipments cross borders internationally, is best handled by the federal or state criminal court systems. However, most people arrested for drug crimes are small-time dealers or, even more frequently, simple drug users. The Florida criminal justice system spends tremendous amounts of money every year investigating, prosecuting, and imprisoning drug offenders.
Some counties in Florida currently use drug courts. Drug courts operate on the theory that drug rehabilitation is the ultimate goal: if a drug abuser can kick the habit, so to say, he is far less likely to re-offend and burden the courts and correctional facilities in the future. Recent studies show that drug treatment is more effective at preventing recidivism and also less costly for the state. Another important argument to consider is the issue of punishment: as a basic social matter, is it more important to treat people who suffer from drug addiction or to punish them for trying the substances they later became dependent upon?
Other factors to consider include the availability of outpatient drug therapy programs. While some drug addicts may require inpatient treatment, says Fort Lauderdale criminal lawyer Moore, many are likely to be treated on an outpatient basis and in such a way that they can maintain important bonds with family, friends, and partners. The ongoing day-to-day contact can serve as an important network of support during an especially difficult time – and the support is not available to drug offenders who spend time in prison.
Drug treatment in prison is a compromise between the competing philosophies, but some studies show that the programs are less effective than traditional drug treatment. One possible reason is that the inmates are demoralized.
A second issue is that drug treatment within prison takes places in an unrealistic environment: drugs, although not wholly absent from prisons, are strictly not allowed. When the inmate has served his time, he may not be able to apply what he learned in treatment to his life outside of prison, especially during the adjustment following his release. A drug addict who successfully completes outpatient treatment does so while learning to battle his old habits – which likely include making contact with his old dealer.
Broward criminal lawyer William R. Moore has years of experience in criminal defense, including sex crimes and DUI. A felony or misdemeanor conviction of any type can have far-reaching consequences on your freedom, your employment, and your personal life. If you have been arrested in south Florida, contact William R. Moore Criminal Defense Attorneys, with offices in Fort Lauderdale-Dade, Broward, and Fort Lauderdale Counties.