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Marchman Act Attorney

Living with a person who abuses drugs or alcohol can be overwhelming. How do you keep them safe, protect children from their behavior, and give them a better chance of success? If a person does not seek treatment themselves, it is still possible to petition a Florida court to assess them and order involuntary treatment. The Florida’s Substance Abuse Impairment Act, also known as the Marchman Act, makes this type of intervention legal. If you are considering filing a Marchman petition, or you have had a petition filed against you, it is in your best interest to seek legal counsel. A Marchman Act attorney at the office of Joyce A. Julian, P.A. can answer your questions, advise you on the process, and protect your rights throughout.

The Marchman Act allows family or loved ones to petition the court to order court-ordered treatment for alcohol or substance abuse for a person who has refused to get help voluntarily. The court can order assessment, stabilization, and treatment for the subject of the order, known as the respondent, who is required to comply or face consequences. Because a Marchman Act order is a court order, the respondent must stay in treatment and stay sober or face court sanctions.

Criteria for Involuntary Admissions 

Governor Rick Scott has officially declared the opioid epidemic in Florida a public health emergency, according to NBC News. For a person to admitted involuntary there must be evidence that they have already or are likely to harm themselves or another. There must also be reason to believe the person is so impaired that they lack the ability to understand their need for treatment.

Who Can Petition the Court?

The following parties can submit a petition to the courts:

  • Spouse;
  • Relative;
  • Guardian;
  • Private practitioner;
  • Director of a licensed service provider; or
  • Three individuals who know the person.

When submitting a petition to the court a person must have the impaired individual’s name, date of birth, distinguishing features, phone number, and address. If they have a spouse, parent, guardian, or lawyer their information will also be required. 

What Happens After a Petition is Filed?

After a Marchman Act petition is filed there is a hearing to determine whether or not the person qualifies to for assessment and stabilization. If so, they are sent to a facility for up to five days so that their drug dependency can be assessed by a physician. The court will see them again after the initial assessment and review the physician’s recommendation, which is based on predetermined criteria. If the criteria for involuntary treatment is met, the court will order up to 60 days of treatment. If it is later determined by medical professionals that more time is needed for recovery, then a renewal of treatment will have to be ordered by the court.

Contact Joyce A. Julian, P.A. For Help on Your Substance Abuse Impairment Case

Substance abuse can lead to traffic crashes, physical abuse, criminal behavior, family dysfunction, and more. If you know someone who struggles with substance abuse in a manner that puts either their life or another person’s life in danger, it is time to petition for involuntary treatment through the Marchman Act. An experienced Marchman Act attorney can assist you in creating a strong case for treatment. If another party is using the Marchman Act to request you get involuntary treatment it is also crucial you seek legal representation. If the court orders you to treatment and you do not go, you could face jail time. At the office of Joyce A. Julian, P.A. we will make sure your rights are protected throughout every stage of the process. Contact us today at 954-467-6656 for a free initial consultation.

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