Florida Misdemeanor Pretrial Diversion Program – The Florida Legislature has long recognized the need to identify and divert some offenders to specialized programs. Florida Statutes created a cooperative effort between the State Attorney’s Office and selected agencies to divert appropriate first-time offenders to these programs.
One such program is the Misdemeanor Pretrial Diversion Program (PDP), which offers qualified misdemeanor offenders an alternative to formal criminal prosecution. Each participant signs a contract with the State of Florida which waives their right to a speedy trial, and in which they agree to comply with the program requirements and perform specific sanctions. Participants are normally supervised six (6) months to twelve (12) months depending upon the offense. In return for successful completion of the program and listed sanctions, the State agrees to drop the participant’s criminal charges in that specific case, which enables them to avoid a conviction and ultimately a criminal record. All referrals to Misdemeanor PDP must originate with a recommendation by the Florida Office of the State Attorney.
The program requirements include the payment of all applicable program fees and costs of prosecution.
- Payment of program fees of:
$360.00 – 6 months or less
$560.00 – 9 months
$720.00 – 12 months
(NOTE: PRETRIAL DIVERSION IS A VOLUNTARY PROGRAM, FUNDED ENTIRELY BY THE FEES PAID BY THE PARTICIPANTS. THEREFORE, FEES ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR REDUCTION OR WAIVER.)
- Payment of $50.00 cost of prosecution fee
Additional sanctions appropriate to each offense or to address the needs of the individual participant may include, but are not limited to:
- Payment of restitution to the victims in the case (if any)
- No contact or un-consented contact with victim, if deemed necessary
- Payment of cost of investigation fees to the law enforcement agency (if any)
- Regular (at least monthly) contact with a Criminal Justice Officer
- Community service hours at an approved agency (minimum of 32 hours with insurance fee paid by participant)
- Psychological or Psychiatric evaluation and any treatment recommended, at participant’s own expense
- Alcohol and/or substance abuse evaluation and any treatment recommended, at the participant’s own expense
- AA or NA meeting attendance, if deemed appropriate
- Random Drug/Alcohol testing, at the participant’s own expense
- Educational classes such as:
- 26 week Batterers Intervention Program (domestic violence cases)
- Anger Management
- Parenting and Child Rearing Skills
- Retail Theft
- Life Skills
- Adult Education/GED
- Victim Awareness Program
- HIV Awareness Program
In addition to the PDP program outlined above, the Office of the State Attorney also has a WORTHLESS CHECK DIVERSION PROGRAM. That program has an administrator and provides an opportunity for first-time worthless check offenders to avoid formal court proceedings by paying restitution to the victims, including service charges and administrative fees, and completing a Financial Responsibility Class. Once all sanctions are successfully completed, the criminal worthless check charges are dropped.
Courtesy page: http://sa18.org/page/misdemeanor-diversion.html