Do I Qualify for Pretrial Intervention?
Not everybody who is charged with a crime is convicted. Sometimes, it is because the prosecution does not have sufficient evidence to find them guilty and in other cases, it is because they accept plea bargains or enter a diversion program. Many Florida residents facing misdemeanor and third degree felony charges have the option of entering the state’s pretrial intervention program, which allows them to be rehabilitated and have their charges dropped upon their successful completion of the program.
There are stipulations for entering Florida’s pretrial intervention program (PTI). Some of these stipulations apply to all individuals hoping to enter the program and others are specifically for individuals with drug-related charges. If you are facing any type of criminal charge, speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to determine your eligibility for this program.
You Have to Apply for PTI
Just like applying to college or for a job, you have to submit a written application that demonstrates why you are a strong candidate for pretrial intervention. Your lawyer can help you write and submit this application, which should include:
- The nature of your charge;
- An emphasis on your lack of a previous criminal history; and
- Why pretrial intervention is in your best interest.
Multiple Parties Must Approve your PTI Application
To be accepted to a pretrial intervention program, the following parties must approve of your application:
- The judge who presided over your initial hearing;
- The victim of your alleged offense;
- The state lawyer; and
- The administrator of the program you apply to enter.
There are multiple PTI programs available, each tailored to alleged offenders of specific crimes. In certain courts, PTI applicants are required to sign an admission of guilt for the offense under oath, but there has not been a ruling regarding the admissibility of these admissions. Do not sign one until you have discussed it with your lawyer.
Completing a PTI Program
Once you enter a PTI program, court proceedings for your case are halted. If you do not successfully complete the program, they may resume and you will face conviction and the penalties that accompany it. At the start of your program, you will be given a set of requirements to fulfill. These may include actions like paying restitution or completing a drug rehabilitation program as well as a requirement that you not be arrested or charged with another offense before you complete the program. You and your lawyer will both sign a document promising the court that you will fulfill the program’s requirements.
Work with an Experienced Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer
Not everybody qualifies for Florida’s pretrial intervention program. If you are not sure about whether you qualify for this program, speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer about your specific situation. Contact our team at Ratzan & Faccidomo, LLC today to set up your initial consultation in our Miami office. We can determine if you are a candidate for pretrial intervention and if so, develop a strategy to help you enter this program.