Criminal Court Diversion Program

As a Tampa criminal defense lawyer at Pallegar Law, P.A, I get asked to explain the differences between the diversion programs which essentially remove the case from the courtroom compared with resolving the case for a plea deal in the courtroom and receiving a withhold of adjudication or no criminal conviction.

Both of these options are typically available if you are charged with a crime for the first time. You will typically qualify for both if the crime is a misdemeanor, not traffic related, or a third degree felony crime that is not very serious. You can also qualify if you have not been convicted of more than one non-violent misdemeanor. However, acceptance into the program is a decision made by the State Attorney.

The State Attorney usually basis the decision on the statutory requirements found under the Pretrial Diversion Law located under Section 948.08 of the Florida Statutes. The prosecutor also takes into consideration the seriousness of the crime, the seriousness of injury caused to any victims, and also the victims’ position. Contact an experienced Sarasota Criminal Defense Attorney today to see if you meet the qualifications necessary to be admitted into a criminal diversion program.

Also, some crimes will automatically disqualify for the program. For example if you are charged with a traffic or a more serious felony crime, completing the diversion program may not be an option offered by the State Attorney.

The MIP and PTI program is a diversion-based program offered by the State Attorney/District Attorney’s Office in the county where the crime was committed. It is usually offered to all first time criminal offenders who commit crimes that our lawmakers have deemed are not that serious.

For example, some misdemeanor crimes that usually qualify for the PTI program are petit theft, trespass, disorderly conduct. Some felony crimes that may qualify you include; felony theft, false information to pawn broker and certain types of fraud.

Furthermore, if you were charged as a juvenile with a crime and completed a diversion program you may qualify for a diversion program as adult criminal offender depending on the circumstances. The State Attorney takes into consideration several factors to determine entry into the diversion program that include the time frame that has passed since the juvenile offense and the severity of the juvenile offense and the new charge when determining your eligibility.

One of the conditions required by the State Attorney upon entrance into the diversion programs is a waiver of speedy trial pursuant to Florida Statute 3.191 and 948.08 (2). This waiver gives the State Attorney the ability to re-file your case back in court in the event you fail to complete your obligations under the diversion program.

Another condition is for you to attest to your prior record if in fact you have one. You will usually be asked to provide the date of the arrest and charge, the jurisdiction of the charge, the nature of the charge, and the date and nature of the sentence.

Contact a qualified diversion program defense attorney today at Pallegar Law, P.A. by calling (813) 444.3912 for a free consultation to discuss your options.

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