Miami Dade County’s Pretrial Intervention Program Can Prevent a Criminal Conviction

In most counties throughout the State of Florida, prosecuting attorneys have discretion to offer the accused Pretrial Intervention, also known as The Pretrial Diversion Program, in lieu of a plea offer or a conviction. This can be a great opportunity for the client. If they successfully complete the program they can have the record sealed or expunged, thus removing any evidence that that arrest or the criminal case ever occurred.

What is more, this arrest cannot be used in the future to increase a client’s offense incident score in Florida State Court. In Miami, unlike many other counties in the State of Florida, a criminal Defendant is not asked to attest to a factual basis for his or her plea. This is beneficial because without a plea or a record of the facts upon which punishment is based, this event can not be used to negatively impact a client’s immigration status. In addition, there is no record which can be used later as a basis to increase a defendant’s offense incident score in Federal Court or another State.

Pretrial Intervention is the next best thing to actually winning a criminal case in Miami- Dade County. If your criminal defense attorney is able to obtain this offer the accused should carefully consider whether it is in their best interest to pursue a not guilty verdict or a dismissal, especially when the certainty of no criminal record or adverse consequences has been offered by the state.

Pretrial intervention can only be accepted once, and if the criminal client does not complete the course they can wind up right back in court. It is important to follow all of the instructions of your case officer at the advocate program and consult a qualified criminal defense attorney if you are uncertain of your rights.