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What to expect at a Court Arraignment for Drug possession charges?

Fort Lauderdale, FL |

What can one expect at Court Arraignment if the charges are Drug possession, for cannabis under 20 grams and felony possession of pills? No drug related priors, and I intend on entering Drug Court, does a judge ever Drug test on the Arraignment date? My impression is they will not, but will setup the Drug court intake date (assuming I get in) and that is when I can expect my first Drug test. Am I way off base and wrong on this impression? I am cleaning up now, but would not pass a test by the Arraignment time. Any insight to if I can expect or not expect a drug test on the court arraignment date would be very helpful.

* Note * Please be advised, I have already retained legal counsel and while we are still waiting on the discovery, from the facts i've been able to give, they've recommended Drug Court on the onset. Which is why I am expecting to enter it. * Note *

Attorney Answers 4

  1. Best answer

    Make no mistake, Broward Drug Court is a tough program. You have to be committed, and clean, to successfully complete. The decision of whether or not to enter Drug Court (or to embark on any course of action for that matter) is one which should only be made after consultation with a criminal defense litigator. Your question suggests that you have done that, so my question is why are you asking questions here? Have you discussed the facts and circumstances of your case with your lawyer? Have you meaningfully explored your options? Do you have a defense to the charges? Is drug court the best option for you?

    Frankly, if your hired a lawyer who advised you to enter drug court pre-arraignment and did not discuss the issue of initial dirty urine then I have to question whether or not you consulted with a competent lawyer.

    That said, and to answer your question: If you accept drug court you will be drug tested. However, an initial dirty urine is almost expected, so if you are in that situation do not panic as you will be given time to cleanse and re-test. Be very aware, however, that even one subsequent positive will 100% guarantee that you will be bounced out of the program and prosecuted.

  2. Nothing much is going to happen at your arraignment. In fact, the only thing the judge will ask you is how do you plea and are you going to hire a lawyer. You don't want to accept any resolutions your case, including drug court at arraignment. You can simply tell the judge you want to plead not guilty and either inform the judge that you'll be hiring a lawyer or ask that you be screened for the services of the public defender. You would be at a disadvantage by excepting drug court at arraignment because you have not received legal advice or had the opportunity to view any of your discovery. I handle these matters and offer free consultation.

    Free Consultations can be made by calling 407-617-1064. Please understand that the information given is not to be construed as legal advice. More information would be needed in order to make more accurate legal determinations on your matter. Furthermore, an attorney-client relationship does not begin until a retainer agreement has been signed by the attorney and client.

  3. An Arraignment is where a Judge gives you a formal reading of the charge against you and you enter a plea of either guilty, not guilty, or no contest. At a misdemeanor arraignment, the Judge will sometimes allow a person to resolve their case right then and there with a plea. This is unlikely as you were also arrested on a felony. You can expect the Judge to: 1. Advise you of the charge. 2. Enter a plea of not guilty on your behalf. 3. Appoint a public defender or give you an opportunity to hire a private lawyer. 4. Reset your case for another court date in the future.

    Additionally, you will want a lawyer to review the facts of your case before you decide to enter into drug court or any kind of resolution to ensure there are no legal defenses to your case.

    If you would like more information or wish to discuss your matter personally, you may contact Mr. Kaigle at or at 407-228-3838.

  4. Your best option is to speak with a local criminal defense lawyer that knows the judge you will be in front of, how the program is handled and your options. I practice in several different counties and the judges and drug court programs vary from county to county by a wide margin.

    I completely agree with Mr. Haber's advice and would urge you to contact someone who is familiar with the system.

    Best of luck.

    Advice is general in nature. There is no lawyer client relationship based on answers to any questions.