Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorneys & Diversion Programs
Criminal Defense Attorneys in Fort Lauderdale - First Time Offenders & Diversion Programs
Criminal defense attorneys in Fort Lauderdale have the option of entering their clients into a diversion program for minor misdemeanor offenses. As a general rule, the defendant must be a first time offender and be willing to participate in a program that is similar to being on probation. Fort Lauderdale criminal lawyers advising their clients of available programs should be meticulous in explaining the details of diversion. Based on my experience as a criminal defense attorney that practices in Fort Lauderdale, the Broward diversion program tends to be a bit tougher on the defendants than either Miami or Palm Beach. One advantage however, is that Broward does not require the defendant to plead guilty prior to entrance into the program. This is commonly referred to as a plea and pass agreement. The risk is elevated in a plea and pass agreement as the plea of guilty locks the client into a disposition of the case that is scheduled to take place at the end of the diversion term. If the client succeeds, the case is subsequently dismissed, allowing for an expunction of the charges (see Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney on expunction & Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney on record sealing). If the client does not comply however, he or she can be sentenced up to the statutory maximum for the highest level offense previously pled to.
Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorneys should also explain that diversion programs in Broward County require the participant to admit guilt and even write a statement and/or apology to any victims involved. Note that the Fort Lauderdale criminal prosecutor must obtain approval from the named victim before diversion will be offered. This is because diversion in a program that is controlled by the Fort Lauderdale criminal prosecutor. This means that the judge does not have discretion in the acceptance or denial process. The drug court programs in Broward County, on the other hand, are court run programs (or statutory). This means that for drug court cases, the judge controls who is, and who is not, allowed to participate (see Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney on drug court).
Criminal defense lawyers practicing in Fort Lauderdale, should note that a defendant can participate in both the misdemeanor and felony program simultaneously for two separate crimes under Florida Drug Court Statutes.
Our Broward County drug court judges (Judge Beach & Judge Pollack) are absolutely fantastic. Each of these remarkable individuals strives on a daily basis to help defendants get clean and move on with their lives without the setback of a criminal record.
Drug Court & Diversion Programs for First Time Offenders
First time offenders may be permitted to participate in a diversionary program. Such programs allow for a dismissal of the charges pending against the client. In limited instances, defendants who have had a prior arrest may be granted admittance into a diversionary program. For more information on criminal case diversion, contact Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney WR Moore today and schedule a free consultation.
Drug Court Programs
A person who is charged with a second- or third-degree felony for purchase or possession of a controlled substance, or for solicitation for purchase of a controlled substance, or for obtaining a prescription by fraud, and who has neither been charged with a crime involving violence nor previously been convicted of a felony is eligible for admission into an approved pretrial substance abuse education and treatment intervention program (including a treatment-based Drug Court program) for a period of not less than one year in duration upon motion of either party or the court's own motion. The court or the state attorney, however, may deny the defendant's admission to such a program if the defendant has rejected on the record an offer of admission to a pretrial substance abuse education and treatment intervention program at any time prior to trial. Moreover, if the state attorney believes that the facts and circumstances of the case suggest the defendant's involvement in the dealing and selling of controlled substances, the court is required to hold a preadmission hearing; the statute requires that the trial judge deny pretrial substance abuse intervention if the preponderance of the evidence at the hearing establishes that the defendant was involved in drug dealing. A pretrial intervention (PTI) agreement is in the nature of a contract similar to a plea agreement; thus, the rules of contract law apply.