Pre-Trial Intervention & Probation
If you or a loved one were recently arrested for a misdemeanor, or arrested for the first time, you may be eligible for probation or pre-trial intervention program. Your eligibility is based on the crime you were charged with, your prior criminal record, and several unique factors. If you were charged with a misdemeanor or third degree felony, or if this is your first occurrence with the criminal justice system, it is highly likely you qualify for pre-trial intervention. The program allows you to avoid a criminal record. Rather, your case is diverted and you are required to complete the terms of the intervention agreement. If you have questions about your charges or potential eligibility, contact attorney Scriven for guidance.
Pre-trial intervention is a program offered in Florida for some defendants meeting eligibility based on the crimes they are charged with. Fla. Stat. § 948.08 (2020). First-time offenders and those with misdemeanor offenses are generally afforded the opportunity to enroll in pre-trial intervention. Third degree felony offenders are also eligible, but the pre-trial program is one year long. Third degree felony offenders may be required to make restitution to the victim along with additional requirements to “pass” the program. Defendants have forty five days from the date of arraignment to apply for the pre-trial intervention program.
If the defendant elects the pre-trial intervention program, upon completion, all criminal charges are dropped. Some enrollees are required to pay a fine, complete community service, or a substance abuse, anger management or other counseling program depending on the nature of the offenses. Violent crimes, DUI, Schedule 1 drug charges, weapon charges, domestic violence offenses, and second or first degree felonies cannot be intervened at the pre-trial level. Defendants charged with other drug offenses not listed as Schedule 1 who fail out of pre-trial intervention or automatically referred to drug court for processing.
Consequences for Probation or Diversion Violations
If you aren’t eligible for pre-trial intervention, the judge may still order you to serve probation, unsupervised or supervised, as an alternative to a prison or jail sentence. If you violate the terms of your probation the consequences can be dire. Violating probation is very serious, and can mean serving a mandatory jail sentence based on your probation terms. You may also be charged with additional offenses based on the facts of the violation. Violating probation once can have consequences on eligibility for parole or can mean you must serve supervised probation and check in with a parole officer as opposed to unsupervised probation.
Failing to complete the terms of your pre-trial intervention program will land you back in court for arraignment and re-entry into the criminal justice process. Not only will this be more expensive, if convicted you may spend time in jail or prison, be ordered to pay fines, and ineligible for various vocational and professional opportunities upon release due to your criminal record. And, if you violate terms of a pre-trial intervention once, you are no longer eligible for subsequent offenses.
Contact Attorney Bryant Scriven
If you were recently charged with a criminal offense and have questions about pre-trial intervention eligibility, or if you are on probation and were subsequently arrested for violating probation terms, contact Tampa criminal attorney Bryant Scriven for assistance as soon as possible. Don’t put your future to chance. Don’t gamble with possible prison terms, impacting your livelihood and freedom. If you are eligible for pre-trial intervention you should take advantage of the opportunity and learn from your experience. Call today for a free consultation to review your case.