The Law Office of William B. Bennett, P.A. Can Help File An Application For A Florida Diversion Program And Possibly Have Your Charges Dropped.
The State attorney’s office in Pinellas County has several options for a Florida Diversion Program in an effort to divert many criminal law cases away from using resources from the Pinellas Country court system. Applying for and entering a diversion program is not always the best choice, especially if you know you are innocent or if the State is struggling to prove the facts of a case.
Entering into a diversion program can sometimes occur like an admission of guilt and may have an impact on your job and career. On top of that, completing the requirements of a program can be expensive and very time consuming. However, successful completion of the program can, in many cases, dismiss your charges completely or help get your charges reduced.
It is important to seek the advice of experienced legal counsel if you are considering a Florida Diversion Program to help resolve your case. They can not only help you file your application but they can often help you find ways to complete the program faster.
What Is A Florida Diversion Program?
A Florida Diversion Program is essentially a written agreement signed by the defendant, their attorney and the prosecutor. The final draft of the agreement is then reviewed and approved by a judge. The defendant agrees to perform certain tasks such as therapy or community service within a certain amount of time and in return the state agrees to put the case on hold. Upon successful completion of a Florida diversion program, the defendant can have their charges dismissed or avoid a formal conviction and instead receive a Withholding of Adjudication on felony cases.
What Diversion Programs Are Offered In Pinellas County?
Florida Diversion Programs are similar to drug treatment court, whereby a treatment program can be substituted in place of a trial. There are many different kinds of diversion programs throughout Florida. The ones in Pinellas County, however, include some of the following:
Adult Pre-Arrest Diversion Programs (APAD)
This is a diversion programs for adults who have been accused of specific crimes of a misdemeanor nature. A defendant can avoid arrest and prosecution by going through the program. The program does NOT cover DUI charges and can include battery, theft, possession of marijuana and criminal mischief.
Fraudulent Checks Diversion Program
Offenders who knowingly wrote bad checks to commit fraud can avoid prosecution by going through this program. Offenders who write bad checks may be contacted by the prosecutor who will offer the diversion program as an option. As long as the defendant pays restitution of the full amount of the checks written, they can avoid arrest and prosecution.
Domestic Violence Intervention Program
By participating in the DVIP, a person can have domestic violence charges dismissed. An attorney can help file and application to participate in the program. They must pay a $50 fee, agree to avoid arrest on any charges and must participate in an anger management class at their expense. Successful completion of the program can allow an attorney to file a petition to have the defendant’s record expunged.
Felony Pre-Trial Intervention Program
This program allows a person charged with a felony to have their charges dismissed upon completion of community service, payment of court costs and any other requirements that the courts deem as necessary for the successful completion of the program. However, felony DUI charges, DUIs with bodily harm and DUI manslaughter are not included in this program.
Misdemeanor Pre-Trial Intervention Program
This Florida diversion program allows those charged with a misdemeanor to avoid prosecution by participating in community service, payment of court fines along with any other requirements the state deems as a necessary component for successful completion. Your attorney might suggest this diversion program as an alternative when charged with misdemeanor crimes not covered by the Adult Pre-Arrest Diversion Program such as theft of utilities, prostitution, resisting arrest, contracting without a license or lewd and lascivious conduct.
Veteran’s Treatment Court
The VTC is a type of Florida diversion program where veteran’s of the armed forces are allowed to resolve misdemeanor or third degree felony charges to avoid any kind of conviction. Your attorney must file an application to participate in the program. The defendant is then required to submit to a mental health and drug evaluation to establish a willingness to complete the program successfully. The program lasts for 12 to 24 months. Certain DUI and drug crimes might be able to be transferred to the Veteran’s Treatment Court program. It is best to consult with experienced legal counsel such as the Law Office of William B. Bennett, P.A. to determine if you can qualify for the VTC program.
Your Attorney For The Florida Diversion Program In Pinellas County
If you are considering entering into a Florida Diversion Program but are concerned about the consequences it will have on background checks or your job, call the St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney at the Law Office of William B. Bennett, P.A. today at (727) 821-8000 or contact us through our website here.
Your consultation with us is free and we can help you negotiate and determine which approach and program will fit your particular case so that you can make the best educated decision about the various programs.