There is a Misdemeanor Pretrial Intervention Program (MIP). The court shall dismiss the charges upon finding that the defendant has successfully completed the pretrial intervention program. In Florida, the Pretrial Intervention Programs are provided through Sections 948.08 and 948.16, Florida Statutes.
Misdemeanor Pretrial Substance Abuse Intervention Program
A person who is charged with a nonviolent misdemeanor and identified as having a substance abuse problem or who is charged with various drug-related misdemeanors, and who has not previously been convicted of a felony, is eligible for voluntary admission into a misdemeanor pretrial substance abuse education and treatment intervention program, including a treatment-based drug court program. Any person whose charges are dismissed after successful completion of the treatment-based drug court program may have his or her arrest record and plea of nolo contendere dismissed and the charges expunged under Section 943.0585, Florida Statutes.
Misdemeanor Pretrial Veterans Treatment Intervention Program
A veteran who suffers from a military service-related mental illness, traumatic brain injury, substance abuse disorder, or psychological problem, and who is charged with a misdemeanor is eligible for voluntary admission into a misdemeanor pretrial veterans’ treatment intervention program. Any person whose charges are dismissed after successful completion of the misdemeanor pretrial veterans’ treatment intervention program may have his or her arrest record of the dismissed charges expunged under Section 943.0585.
Misdemeanor Pretrial Mental Health Court Program
A defendant who is charged with a misdemeanor and identified as having a mental illness is eligible for voluntary admission into a misdemeanor pretrial mental health court program. The court shall dismiss the charges upon finding that the defendant has successfully completed the pretrial intervention program.
What Is a Diversion Program?
A diversion program is designed to keep non-violent first-time offenders and individuals who need help out of the criminal justice system. Diversion programs intervene in a case before it becomes necessary to take an offender off the street. A diversion program allows an offender an opportunity to resolve the matter and get help without having to take the chance of going to jail, or worse, to prison. Diversion programs allow the State an opportunity to deal with an offender before he or she becomes a hardened criminal in the criminal justice system. Diversion programs are designed to divert offenders and people who need help into programs and away from crime, without incarceration.
Should I Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney?
If you or a loved one have been charged with a misdemeanor and have no prior criminal record or only a minor record, you may qualify for the Misdemeanor Pretrial Intervention Program. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you determine whether a diversion program is the best way to resolve your case. An attorney can help you get into the program, get the case dismissed, and have your arrest record sealed and expunged.
It is important that you contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer and determine whether you are eligible for pretrial intervention and if so whether it is in your best interest to take part in the program A Misdemeanor Pretrial Intervention Program may be the difference between the dismissal of the charges, without a record, and a jail sentence.