Tuesday, March 23, 2010

ARLS Visitor Question.

Addiction Recovery Legal Services LLC said...
From: "A Family Guide to the Florida Marchman Act - LINK - Post by Ex-Leo on 03/04/2010:asked:

Visitor Question: "...[w]hat is the legal process in Florida when a person is in certain need of the Marchman Act's protection/assistance and is found to be in possession of [illegal materials] by a law enforcement officer who was needed/required to contact and transport an individual who has been identified by those who swore out an Act Information/Complaint?"

ARLS Answer: Here is what I am hearing in your scenario...a law enforcement officer in Florida is called to a scene (most likely - non-criminal) to provide protective custody services under the Florida Marchman Act for someone who is substance abuse impaired (most likely to the point where it has been determined that they are danger to self or others).

In short, under the FL Marchman Act, you may place that person into protective custody for transport to a medical/treatment facility (called a receiving facility) WITHOUT arrest, and, based upon your own determination of need (without a medical opinion).

However, I am hearing more....so, let's discuss your next point. In the process of the Law enforcement officer providing assistance, he/she discovers illegal drugs or paraphernalia on the person (or, in plain sight). Your question: What happens next, right?

The answer: clearly, under FL law this would REQUIRE some form of official report (and/or, subsequent arrest)for the person being in criminal possession of drugs. From my own experience, I have seen officers respond to an overdose and subsequently charge the person because drugs were in their possession. However, I SUSPECT some law enforcement officer may choose to look the other way depending on the quantity and type of drug / paraphernalia found in the persons possession (understanding that they have been called to provide assistance not consequence). Excellent question.

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