My daughter has been arrested for the second time within this year in lake co. fl for drug charges. first time was for cocaine which she was sentenced to 6 months and this time she was arrested for 2 charges of xanax without a prescription and 1 charge of oxycodone without a prescription...although I realize she broke the law but is it possible to get the judge to order drug rehab instead of jailtime? She really needs treatment to get her life straightened out so she is not continuing to keep using drugs and being in and out of jail. I have read online that Lake co. is one of the few counties that don't have "drug court." Any advice you can give would be appreciated. She has a public defender but he is very difficult to get in touch with for any answers.
Criminal Defense Attorney
Many counties have an in-jail, 120 day drug program that can be a part of any county sentence, though I am not sure if Lake County has one. Your daughter can ask for that program if it is available. Once you get into felony court, there are no programs though sometimes you can convince the State and the judge to let someone stay in County for that program even for a felony charge.
In general, there is a lack of programs for people who need help - drug and mental health issues particularly. One judge once told me his neighbors never ask him to send defendants to a program. Of course I'm sure his neighbors keep their Xanax habits better concealed.
And along that line of thought comes one last suggestion: get your daughter into an in-patient (best) or out-patient program before she goes to court. Often times if a prosecutor can see that the family is willing and able to make progress outside of the court system they will cut you a break.
Now the hard truth of it is that your daughter will not benefit from any of these programs if she is not really ready to accept that her life needs to change. Many times a person goes through multiple programs before it finally "takes" but that is only after they truly feel the need for real change. If your daughter is resistant to the idea that her life may be unmanageable as it is, perhaps several more months in the jail will help illustrate that point. Suggest she attend AA or NA meetings if she does jail time; almost all jails have meetings. And she should definitely attend them if she gets a break and does little or no time. I wish you both a lot of luck.
As for the PD, try to make an appointment to see him. Remember, you are not the client and not on his priority list. But maybe you can make a face-to-face meeting happen.
Criminal Defense Attorney
The good news is that the current criminal laws allow for treatment as an option on non-drug dealing cases, even if your daughter scores "mandatory prison", so long as your daughter can demonstrate to the court that she has a drug problem (easy to do, just get an evaluation done!). It's a great idea to enroll her in some intense outpatient treatment, so long as she truly wants the help. It depends upon which judge she gets in Lake County, there are a few up there that are willing to give her a chance with treatment, and, as you've already discovered, a few judges that are more concerned with punishment than with treating the underlying problem. Sad, but true.
Get a local private attorney, I recommend Mark Conan (offices in Taveres and Orlando).