A diversion program is designed to provide supervision as an alternative to confinement. In Florida, the pretrial diversion program (PTD) is offered through the State Attorney for those who are eligible.  Through your attorney, you may be able to inquire as to whether this is an option in your case. In our area, the program is supervised by Orange County Community Corrections.

Requirements for PTD

Only those who meet the basic eligibility requirements will be considered for the PTD program. The crime must be a misdemeanor and you must not have any prior convictions for a similar crime. You must be a legal resident. The program applies to first time DUI arrests as well as other offenses. Participation in the program must be approved by the State Attorney.

About PTD

If you are accepted for the PTD program it will be adapted for the specific type of crime that was charged. Generally, the program for misdemeanor cases runs for 6 months and includes at least 40 hours of community service. Also, for DUI cases, the program requires use of an ignition interlock device for a period of time, typically at least 6 months. Participants must attend classes as specified as part of the program.  Programs for DUI participants may last from 12 to 15 months and 50 hours of community service.

Participation in PTD

Even if you meet the basic requirements for the program, your participation must be approved by the State Attorney office. If eligible, your attorney will try to work out acceptance for you. Failure to complete the program will result in prosecution on the original charges. The program does not begin until the paperwork has been signed. Additionally, you must attend all future court hearings for your case. You will be responsible for the costs associated with participation in the program.

Advantages of the PTD Program

The main benefit of participating in the PTD program is that successful completion means that the charges are dropped and the matter is no longer active. You will not have a conviction on your record, keeping your record clean. The program offers you resources to make changes to your life so that you will not make the same mistake in the future. When you have been charged with a misdemeanor, contact an experienced criminal attorney to assist you in your case.