Pre-Trial DiversionPosted December 29, 2011 Information
In Seminole, Orange, Osceola, and Volusia first time offenders may be eligible for programs where if the Defendant completes all requirements the State Attorney’s Office will file a nolle prosequi, dropping/dismissing all charges against the person, resulting in no criminal record. Although a person who enrolls in such programs is not technically on probation they will be monitored by State or County probation and will have to comply with all requirements from your diversionary Officer, otherwise, the Defendant will be removed from the program and will face their charges without any dismissal and all potential consequences of the crime accused. Once the Defendant signs the diversion contract their case will be taken off the docket and abated until the diversion program is completed. A local attorney who is experienced with the respective State Attorney’s Office will petition the assigned prosecutor to make sure one who qualifies for diversion is referred to the program and accepted, and ultimately keeps their record clean. Often even if an individual qualifies for diversion the prosecutor will not automatically offer diversion without lobbying from a private attorney. After a person successfully completes a diversion program (including not being arrested while in said program) the individual can petition the Court to Seal and Expunge the Charges allowing for no one other than Federal Law Enforcement to view your arrest.
For example, in Seminole County if an individual has no criminal record and is arrested you may qualify for Pre-Trial Diversion if the charge is a misdemeanor and Pre-Trial Intervention if the charge is a felony. Not all crimes in any county will qualify for a diversionary program, usually relative non-serious offenses qualify, for example possessionary drug charges, petit theft, misdemeanor battery, etc… Please note, unlike in Orange and Osceola, in Seminole County, the Office of the State Attorney does not offer Diversion for first time DUI’s. Here is an example of diversion requirements for a first time marijuana charge:
- $50 Cost of Prosecution to the State Attorney’s Office
- $133 Cost of Investigation to the arresting agency
- 20 hrs. community service
- 4 hr. misdemeanor class
- substance abuse evaluation