Felony Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI)

The felony pre-trial intervention program in Broward County, FL, is operated by the Florida Department of Corrections (DOC) which is also the organization that supervises anyone put on felony probation in Florida. The PTI program will last for one year. If the program is completed during this time, the charge will be dismissed.

Any many ways, the diversion program is very similar to probation because in both cases, a person is supervised by DOC and required to complete certain special conditions such as completing classes or paying restitution.

In some cases, a person will enter into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) in Drug Court instead of applying for a felony PTI program.

The PTI program gives anyone accused of a first-time offense the change to avoid the stigma of a criminal conviction by diverting the case away from the court. The PTI program is not right to everyone.

In fact, in many of these cases, the person accused is better off fighting the charges especially when a viable motion to suppress or motion to dismiss can be filed by your criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Attorneys for Felony PTI in Fort Lauderdale, FL

Our criminal defense attorneys represent people who are rejected from the felony PTI program. If you violate the terms of PTI or if you are rejected from the program because you are not eligible for PTI, then you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you fight the charges aggressively.

Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney about the pros and cons of entering the pre-trial intervention program. In many cases, it is better to aggressively fight the case for an outright dismissal in the court process especially when the accusations are false or the prosecutor has insufficient evidence.

We also represent clients after they receive notice that they have been rejected from PTI and wish to fight the charges aggressively in court.

Call (954) 500-5555 today.

The Downsides of Entering Felony PTI

One of the biggest programs with the Felony PTI program in Broward County, FL, is that the State Attorney's Office often takes the position that if the defendant takes depositions of any witnesses or litigates substantive motions, that the defendant is then disqualified from being considered for PTI.

The biggest downside to applying for the felony PTI program is that you must prepare a notarized typed sworn statement detailing the facts and circumstances of the offense. If the sworn statement does not provide enough facts to show knowledge of the conduct and each element of the crime, then the State Attorney Office will not agree to allow the defendant to enter PTI.

Under some circumstances outlined in the State Attorney Pre-Trial Intervention Guidelines, the prosecutor might later seek to use the sworn statement against a defendant at trial or a sentencing hearing.

The question in the application for felony PTI in Broward County, FL, includes:

Briefly describe the circumstances of your arrest, what led to the offense, what happened and what is your part in it? (Please be reminded that an admission of guilt statement is necessary for admission into this program and any statement that you provide may be used against you in prosecution.)

Many people are not eligible for PTI because they have a prior adult felony conviction or more than one prior conviction for a non-violent misdemeanor or more than two (2) misdemeanor arrests. A juvenile record might also disqualify a person for PTI. The prosecutor with the State Attorney's Office in Broward County, FL, will review the prior felony arrest record on a case by case basis.

To enter the felony PTI program in Broward County, FL, you must also agree to waive any and all claims to the property seized for forfeiture under the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act. In fact, the PTI agreement specifically requires you to forfeit all rights, title, and interest in such property in favor of the appropriate arresting agencies.

Requirements to Enter PTI in Fort Lauderdale, FL

If the person accused of the felony offense decides to enter PTI instead of fighting the charges in court, then the criminal defense attorney must help the defendant apply within forty-five (45) days after arraignment.

The documents must be sent to the State Attorney's Office (SAO) via email at FelonyPTI@sao17.state.fl.us within the allotted time limits.

After the State Attorney's Office receives the PTI application, the SAO will review and process the application to determine if the defendant qualifies for the program. In most cases, it takes the prosecutor with the State Attorney’s Office between 30 to 90 days after the application is received.

To apply for the felony PTI program, you must complete the following documents:

  • PTI Interview Worksheet, signed and notarized;
  • Felony PTI Initial Data Sheet;
  • Copy of Information;
  • Copy of Probable Cause Affidavit
  • Statement of Admission that must be typed, signed and notarized;
  • Waiver of Rights form that must be signed and notarized;
  • Deferred Prosecution Agreement that must be signed and witnessed;
  • PTI Document Checklist

In some cases, the applicant must agree to participate in counseling programs or attend programs designed to provide self-improvement education; or perform up to forty (40) hours of community service.

The costs involved in completing PTI include:

  • a supervision fee of $ 50.00 per month plus a four percent administrative processing fee;
  • cost of prosecution in the amount of $250.00 within the first month; and
  • the costs to pay for any tests to determine if you have consumed drugs or alcohol. 

You must attend any alcohol, drug, psychological or other rehabilitative program directed by your Pretrial Intervention Officer plus you must pay any fees or costs associated with treatment.

Out of State Client's Entering PTI

Although most applicants for PTI are not required to enter a guilty plea prior to participating in PTI, if the applicant lives out of state, the prosecutor will sometimes require the applicant to enter a plea of guilty to the charges to participate in PTI.

For a person living outside of Florida, the PTI supervision will be subject to the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision.

The Florida Department of Corrections takes the position that only a person who enters a plea of guilty and waive the right to a trial if they fail to successfully complete the program are eligible to be supervised in another state.

In those cases, if the PTI program is completed successfully, then the State Attorney's Office in Broward County, FL, will allow the plea to be withdrawn so that the case can be dismissed.

Third Degree Felony Charges Eligible for the PTI Program

Many third-degree felony charges are eligible for the PTI program, however, some felony charges are not eligible for PTI including: 

  • any felony of the first or second degree;
  • driving offenses such as:
    • DWLS;
    • DUI;
    • Leave Scene of Accident;
  • fleeing or attempting to elude;
  • crimes indicative of an organized scheme to defraud;
  • possession of anti-shoplifting control device;
  • offenses involving vending, forging or counterfeiting private labels;
  • restitution owed over $5,000 at time of application;
  • any type of violent crime;
  • crimes against children such as child abuse;
  • attempted residential burglary;
  • robbery;
  • any weapon and firearm charges; or
  • aggravated assault.

It should also be noted that drug charges for possession of heroin, LSD, methamphetamine, PVP or any derivative thereof, or one-half gram or more of cocaine are not eligible for the felony PTI program in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Other types of offenses, such as crimes against government entities, will be reviewed on a case by case basis by the State Attorney’s Office.

This article was last updated on Friday, November 10, 2017.