Florida Criminal Law: Florida Pre-Trial Programs
Miami Lawyers for Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI)/Pre-Trial Diversion (PTD)
The criminal justice systems in Miami-Dade County, Broward County, and throughout the state of Florida have created programs to assist individuals who are new to the criminal justice system. The Miami criminal lawyers at Donet McMillan & Trontz, P.A. (DMT) are intimately familiar with the rules and regulations regarding the pre-trial intervention (PTI) and pre-trial diversion (PTD) programs offered to first-time offenders.
The PTI and PTD programs can be offered anytime at the state's direction before or after information is filed in the case. The PTI program applies to felony charges, while PTD applies to misdemeanor cases. A felony is a criminal offense that is punishable by more than a year in jail while a misdemeanor is a crime punishable by less than a year in jail. The programs are run by the state attorney's office in the arresting agency's jurisdiction. Local prosecutors have the discretion in determining whether a defendant will be permitted to enroll in the programs.
Conditions of Intervention & Diversion Programs
Once a defendant is enrolled in the program, he or she will be required to complete certain conditions. Upon the completion of the conditions and the passage of at least six months' time, the prosecutor's office will nolle pros or dismiss the charges in the case. The types of conditions often required to be completed are classes or programs including:
- Anger Management Program
- Batterer's Intervention Program
- Firearm Intervention Program
- Theft Program
- Values Program
The class or program assigned depends on the underlying offense. For example, someone charged with felony assault or battery will be required to complete the anger management class. Someone charged with domestic violence will be required to complete the batterer's intervention program. Someone charged with shoplifting will be required to complete the theft program. The prosecutor may also require a defendant to perform community service hours or perhaps make a financial contribution to a charitable organization.
Eligibility for PTI/PTD Programs
If a defendant has completed all of the terms and condition of the PTI or PTD program, the prosecutor will nolle pros or dismiss the charges provided there are no additional arrests. All first-time offenders are eligible for the program as long as the victim of the offense agrees to this disposition of the case and the charges involved are not overly serious.
Defendants charged with grand theft, minor fraud crimes, passing worthless checks and other low-level felony offenses are offered the PTI program. Defendant charges with offenses such as home burglary, drug trafficking, aggravated assault, aggravated battery or other violent crimes are usually not offered the program. All misdemeanor offenses are eligible for the PTD program, as long as the victim is amenable to that resolution of the criminal case.
There is an exception to the first-time offender rule. Individuals with a prior criminal record are still eligible as long as they only have one prior misdemeanor on their record.
What does enrolling in a PTI or PTD program involve?
When a defendant enrolls in the PTI or PTD program, he or she agrees to waive the right to a speedy trial. The purpose of that rule is simple: any defendant that does not successfully complete the program will removed from the program with his or her case being set for trial.
The waiver precludes defendants from participating in the program and intentionally bouncing out after the speedy trial time has expired. If a defendant successfully completes all of the terms and conditions set forth by the prosecution and remains out of trouble for six months, the charges will be dismissed. Once the charges have been nolle prossed or dismissed, a defendant will be eligible for a sealing or expungement of the record depending on a person's criminal history.
CONTACT A MIAMI CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY
If you are under investigation for, or have been arrested and charged with a criminal offense, contact the Miami criminal lawyers at DMT. An experienced criminal attorney is available every day of the year, 24 hours a day to speak with you regarding your situation. Allow us the opportunity to help protect your rights and defend you case.
Call us at (305) 396-3982 or reach us by completing our free case evaluation form.
Donet, McMillan & Trontz, P.A. represents clients in Miami-Dade and Broward County, including Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and Miami Beach.