Should I Enter the Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI) in Florida?
What is Pretrial Intervention?
Pretrial intervention is a program that allows certain individuals the opportunity to have their charges dropped by the State.
Who is Eligible?
Florida Statute §948.08 allows any first time offender, or any person previously convicted of not more than one nonviolent misdemeanor to participate in the program. Pretrial intervention is available to those charged with misdemeanors and most third degree felonies. Admission into the program requires approval from the administrator of the program, the victim of the crime, the state attorney and the presiding judge. Additionally, the defendant is required to waive his/her right to a speedy trial in order to participate.
What Happens During Pretrial Intervention?
The program is similar to being on probation. Participants are required to check in monthly with a pretrial intervention officer and pay a monthly supervision fee (usually between $40-$50 depending on the county). The program administrator tailors additional requirements based on the individual and the type of offense committed. For example, a theft charge might require a shoplifter’s prevention course while a drug charge might require a substance abuse evaluation and monthly drug screens. The individual requirements will be explained upon entering the program.
What if I violate the terms of Pretrial Intervention?
There are many ways to violate a pretrial intervention agreement, including: failure to pay monthly supervision fees, failure to attend required classes or treatment or picking up a new criminal charge. Generally, a violation of the agreement will result in removal from the program. In most jurisdictions, this means your case will go back to the way it was prior to entering the program; you will be facing the same charges and you can either enter a plea or try and fight them. An experienced criminal defense attorney might be able to help you get reinstated to the pretrial intervention program if you are kicked out for a violation.
Should I participate in Pretrial Intervention if I am eligible?
YES! The enormous benefit of the program is getting your charge dismissed once you complete the requirements. This means you will have no criminal conviction on your record and you can apply to have the arrest sealed/expunged.
If you would like information about pretrial intervention from an experienced attorney, give the Hebert Law Group a call today at 727-573-2622. All consultations are free.