Pretrial Diversion Program
To reduce the number of nonviolent offenders serving jail or prison sentences, the state of Florida offers pretrial intervention (PTI) programs for which some felony offenders in West Palm Beach may be eligible to participate. A diversion program can help alleged felony offenders avoid serving time behind bars. Offenders who complete the program without issues can have their charges dismissed. If you face felony charges for a nonviolent crime, a criminal defense attorney like Brian Gabriel can evaluate the facts of your case to determine whether you may be eligible to participate.
May I be Eligible for a Pretrial Intervention Program?
Florida Statute Section 948.08 describes who may participate in a pretrial diversion program. Generally, the program is reserved for nonviolent first-time offenders. In addition to meeting eligibility requirements, offenders may be barred from participating upon the objection by the victim, the prosecutor, and the judge who was present at his or her initial appearance hearing.
The best way to determine eligibility is to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney to examine the allegations against you. Upon close examination of these and your overall background, you can come to a realistic conclusion and weigh your legal options. If you are eligible, your defense attorney may negotiate with the prosecutor to help you get placed into a Florida pretrial diversion program. Though not explicitly required by the statute, some prosecutors may require you to sign a sworn admission of guilt to the crime for which you’ve been charged in order to gain entry into such program.
How Does the Pretrial Intervention Program Work?
The State of Florida administers the Pretrial Intervention Program through the Department of Corrections. Eligible participants must agree to the terms of the program to proceed. Participants are then supervised in a method similar to probation. At the end of the supervision period, the felony charge is dismissed assuming the offender did not violate any terms of the agreement.
These agreements are sometimes tailored to the offender’s needs, depending on the alleged crime. Some conditions alleged offenders may be subjected to under a PTI agreement include:
- Required monthly reporting
- Required payment of supervision fees
- Required community service
- Required participation in counseling or treatment, if deemed necessary
Advantages of Entering a Pretrial Intervention Program
Many who are eligible choose to proceed with a pretrial intervention program in Florida in order to enjoy advantages that are not available to other alleged felony offenders. Some benefits include:
- Avoiding the stress and expenses of a criminal trial
- Averting the possibility of a criminal conviction
- Avoiding a potentially permanent criminal record
- Receiving counseling or treatment
- Reducing recidivism
- Potential to have your criminal arrest record expunged
Talk to an experienced West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer to find out about possible eligibility for a pretrial diversion program to help you avoid the consequences of felony criminal charges. For over 30 years, attorney Brian Gabriel has worked diligently guiding alleged offenders through Florida pretrial diversion programs and has had many successful outcomes. Contact The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel at 561-622-5575 or schedule an appointment online for a free consultation.