Marchman Act Addiction Commitment

Marchman Act Addiction Commitment

The Florida Marchman Act is a law that was written to provide those in need with confidential, court ordered and monitored drug and alcohol assessment, stabilization and treatment.

The Florida Marchman Act is a civil procedure that allows concerned persons who know someone who is substance abuse impaired to confidentially petition and ask the court to help them address a substance abuse problem. Based upon this petition, the court can issue an order that requires the impaired individual to enter into a court supervised and monitored, drug and alcohol intervention, assessment, stabilization and/or treatment. The impaired individual must comply with the court supervised drug and alcohol intervention, assessment, stabilization and/or treatment. The individual has no choice in the matter. Even if the individual has refused to get voluntarily help in the past for their substance abuse problem, under the Florida Marchman Act they cannot refuse such help once the court order has been put into place.

Florida Statute §397.305 recognizes that substance abuse is a major health problem and leads to profoundly disturbing consequences such as serious impairment, chronic addiction, criminal behavior, vehicular casualties, spiraling health care costs, AIDS, and business losses, and profoundly affects the learning ability of children within our schools and educational systems. Substance abuse impairment is a disease which affects the whole family and the whole society and requires specialized prevention, intervention, and treatment services that support and strengthen the family unit.

If you are unsure whether to file a Marchman Act Petition, it is better to uncover and address a potential substance abuse problem in a confidential, civil environment, then it is to allow the problem to persist and allow a person at risk being thrown into the criminal arena for an arrest due to drug use, possession or associated criminal activity.

The court may grant a Petition for Involuntary Assessment, Stabilization and/or Treatment, if it is determined that there is a reasonable belief that a person is substance abuse impaired and

(a) has lost the power of self control with respect to substance use; and either

(b) has inflicted or is likely to inflict physical harm on him/herself or others unless admitted; or

(c) the person’s judgment is so impaired they are incapable of appreciating the need for care and making a rational decision regarding such care; or

(d) the person has refused to seek voluntary care.

To initiate a Marchman Act preceding you must go to the Mental Health Division of your respective local court house. There you should be provided documentation for your execution to initiate a Petition for Involuntary Assessment and Stabilization. Generally, there is no fee associated with filing a Marchman Act petition. Additional pleadings, requests and petitions for further treatment options will need to be filed in the future. Although the Marchman act is designed to initiate the process by yourself, the complexity of any given situation may suggest that you seek the assistance of a skilled and trained attorney.

If you find yourself in such a position it is best to consult an attorney with substantial experience. There are so many different circumstances that a proper answer to your particular problem can only be obtained by a trained and experienced lawyer.

If you have any question regarding any of the issues set forth above, our firm may be able to help you.

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