Stephen G. Cobb - Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer

Florida Legal Article: Fort Walton Beach Attorney – Drug Court


Attorneys in Fort Walton Beach typically represent two categories of drug offenders:  The drug user and the drug dealer.  The State of Florida considers all drug offenses to be extremely serious, but it does view offenders accused of drug trafficking in a harsher light–and the penalties for being convicted of drug trafficking are accordingly much higher.  Drug trafficking is a huge problem in Florida, and the majority of crimes committed in Florida can be traced in some way back to drugs.

Fortunately, much of society today realizes that drug addiction is a true problem for which many people need help to overcome.  More and more Americans of every socioeconomic sphere are becoming addicted to drugs, and many of those individuals who cycle in and out and back into the prison system do so due to their drug addictions.  While many Fort Walton Beach attorneys are experienced in representing clients accused of committing drug offenses, and are aware of the various programs available to help Floridians beat their drug addictions, most do not understand the actual brain disorder which causes drug abuse. Attorney Stephen G. Cobb is the first lawyer in the United States to routinely send criminal defendants to specialized neuro-imaging clinics for an accurate evaluation. Mr. Cobb has long said that “before there is a rush to treatment, a proper diagnosis must be made first.”

One available program providing assistance for drug addicts in the state of Florida is called Drug Court.  This program is typically reserved for nonviolent defendants with a substance abuse problem. Drug Court is radically different than diversion or probation.  Those participating in the program do a great deal more than merely report on a monthly basis to their supervising probation officer. Drug testing, weekly court appearances, and multiple counseling sessions per week are required.

Fort Walton Beach attorneys routinely utilize Drug Court: As stated earlier, participants must report to the Court periodically, complete whatever drug treatment the Court recommends, avoid all criminal activity, and perform any other requirements set by the Court.  Your Fort Walton Beach attorney should be able to advise you which judges actually participate in Drug Court Sessions.

One other diversionary program available (though only in certain Florida counties) focuses on treating offenders with substance abuse problems and helping them conquer their addictions instead of just punishing them. The Drug Court program’s main purpose is to end the ceaseless cycle of drug offenders revolving in and out of the criminal justice system.  Once offenders successfully complete Drug Court, their Fort Walton Beach attorneyscan make sure the charges against them are dropped.

However, Mr. Cobb believes there are better methods to achieve the desired outcome, and has been an outspoken critic of Drug Court: “Drug Court is faith based and not science based. This is why it doesn’t work.” Mr. Cobb notes that “Drug Court completion always results in charges being dismissed, but it fails to solve the medical problem that causes substance abuse. Drub abuse is a brain disorder, and should be treated with the same level of sophistication as a broken leg.”

So, if your Fort Walton Beach attorney is Stephen G. Cobb, he will focus on solving both problems in the most effective manner possible, and this often includes a SPECT (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography) brain imaging and diagnostic evaluation. “I’ve never had a parent or family member come to me and ask me to get their loved one out of trouble just so they could go back to hurting themselves when charge was dismissed,” Cobb said.

Stephen G. Cobb, Esq.

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