What You Need to Know About Florida’s Pre-Trial Intervention Program
In Florida, some offenders, including certain felony offenders, may be eligible to enter a pre-trial intervention program. This type of program is a diversion program that can, if successfully completed, result in your criminal charges being dismissed. Here, our Florida felony defense lawyers discuss some of the important things you should know about our state’s pre-trial intervention programs. For more detailed information that addresses questions that pertain to your individual case, please do not hesitate reach out to our team today to set up a free legal consultation.
What are the Benefits of Pre-Trial Intervention
There are many different potential benefits to entering a pre-trial intervention program. Some of the most important benefits include:
- Resolving the charges against you more quickly;
- Avoiding the cost of a trial;
- Avoiding the possibility of a criminal conviction;
- Avoiding a permanent criminal record;
- Avoiding any jail time;
- Getting access to useful services such as treatment and therapy; and
- The possibility of having your arrest expunged.
Who is Eligible?
Pre-trial intervention eligibility is governed by Section 948.08 of the Florida State Statutes. Under the law, you may be eligible to participate in a pre-trial intervention program if you meet the following three criteria:
- You are a first time offender or, you have not previously been convicted of more than one non-violent misdemeanor offense;
- You are charged with a misdemeanor or a third degree felony; and
- You have received approval from the program administrator and the consent of any victims of your crime.
A special note for drug possession cases: The charges, which typically do not have a ‘victim’ in a traditional sense, have slightly different criteria. In these cases, assuming your charges do not involve any violence, you can enter a pre-trial intervention program as long as you have no prior felony convictions.
How Does Pre-Trial Intervention Work?
These programs are generally similar to probation. Those who enter a pre-trial intervention program will be subject to many different requirements, including:
- Reporting to a supervising officer on a regular basis;
- Paying the programs fees;
- Engaging in community service projects;
- Completing any counseling, therapy or other treatment that has been ordered by the program administrator.
Ultimately, pre-trial intervention programs are individually tailored to the specific circumstances in question. The bottom line is simple: In most cases, pre-trial intervention programs are a good
opportunity for those who are eligible. If possible, you should always look into taking advantage of any diversion program that you can access. Let your attorney review your case and your options and work out the details. Remember, if you successfully complete the program, you can have your misdemeanor or third degree felony charges dismissed outright.
Contact Our Office Today
If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges in Florida, please contact our Tampa Bay criminal defense attorneys today. Our team will review your case for free and determine exactly what needs to be done to get you the best possible result. At Pawlowski//Mastrilli Law Group, our defense attorneys serve individuals throughout the Tampa region, including in Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Polk County, Pasco County and Manatee County.