What is a Pretrial Intervention?
A plea agreement or a trial are not the only two ways to resolve a Florida criminal case. If you have little to no criminal history, you may be eligible to attempt to resolve your case through a pretrial intervention program. A pretrial intervention program that is successfully completed can result in the dismissal of your charges – which means that no conviction is reported for the offense for which you were arrested and/or charged. But a pretrial intervention program is not the right choice in every situation: consult with an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney before agreeing to enter into this program.
What is the Pretrial Intervention Program?
The pretrial intervention program is a method whereby certain eligible defendants (namely those without an extensive and/or violent criminal history) can resolve their case without having a conviction entered against them. The pretrial intervention program imposes certain requirements on the defendant that may include attending counseling, obtaining psychological treatment, and/or participating in educational programs. If the defendant completes these requirements satisfactorily, the prosecution may determine that no further prosecution of the case is necessary and dismiss the case without prejudice (meaning that the prosecution could elect to refile the case at some point in the future).
What are the Risks of Entering into a Pretrial Intervention Problem?
At first a pretrial intervention program may seem like a win-win for both the defendant and the government prosecutors. But this program places an enormous amount of pressure on the defendant and gives the defendant (especially one representing him- or herself) very little bargaining power. The prosecution is free to impose nearly any condition that it pleases. Not only this, but the prosecution retains the authority to determine whether the defendant has satisfactorily complied with the terms of the program.
What Can Happen If The Prosecution Decides I Have not Satisfactorily Completed the Program?
In normal circumstances, the pretrial intervention program lasts for a period of at least 90 days. The prosecution has one of two options in the event it believes a defendant has not complied with the program at the conclusion of those 90 days: the prosecution can either extend the duration of the program for 90 additional days or it can resume the prosecution of the defendant’s case. (In fact, the government prosecutors are able to resume prosecution of the defendant’s case at any time during the program if it feels the defendant is not progressing satisfactorily or if it believes the “public interest” requires the case to be prosecuted.)
How Can a Miami Criminal Defense Attorney Help Me?
Experienced and knowledgeable Florida criminal defense attorney Jeffrey S. Weiner knows the benefits and drawbacks of pretrial intervention programs. He can help ensure that no extraneous or irrelevant conditions are included in your program and that you understand your rights and responsibilities. He can also assist you if government prosecutors are alleging that you have not complied with the terms of your program. Contact the South Florida criminal defense law firm of Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A. today by calling (305) 670-9919.