FELONY PRE-TRIAL INTERVENTION (PTI)  updated 03-11-2014

 

The Felony Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) program is a diversion program operated by the Florida Department of Corrections. The purpose of the PTI program is to afford first time felony offenders the opportunity to avoid the stigma of a criminal conviction by diverting their case from the trial court process. Defendants charged with a qualifying third degree felony may be approved for this program.

The felony PTI program is similar to being on probation. Upon successful completion of the year long PTI program, the charge will be dismissed. Successful completion of the program will require making full restitution to the victim, if applicable, in addition to other conditions. It is highly recommended that defendants speak with their attorney regarding the benefits of entering this program as opposed to continuing through the court process.

Please be advised that the taking of depositions or hearing substantive motions will disqualify a defendant from PTI consideration. 

An attorney seeking PTI on behalf of a defendant must apply within forty-five (45) days from the date of arraignment. The documents necessary to apply are listed below. For consideration, all documents must be completed and received by the PTI office at the Department of Corrections (see address below) within these forty-five (45) days. Once received, a PTI officer will review and process the application to determine if the defendant qualifies for the program. The entire process may take from 30 to 90 days from the date the application is received at the PTI office.

Applicants who meet PTI requirements and are subsequently supervised within the state of Florida by the Florida Department of Corrections are not required to enter a plea of guilty to the charges to participate in PTI. However, should you reside out of state during the period of supervision, you must plead guilty to the charges and have your sentencing deferred for a period of one year. Your supervision will be subject to the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision. Per the Florida Department of Corrections, only offenders who enter a plea of guilty and waive the right to a trial if they fail to successfully complete the program are compact eligible. Upon successful completion of the program, as determined by the State Attorney’s Office, the State will agree to allow you to withdraw your previously entered plea of guilty and the case will be dismissed. Should you fail to successfully complete the program, as determined by the State Attorney’s Office, you will not be allowed to withdraw your plea of guilty and you will be sentenced by the court.

An application received after the forty-five (45) day requirement will require a waiver letter from the State Attorney’s Office. To obtain this waiver, the attorney for the defendant must mail, fax or email a request explaining good cause for the delay. Correspondence should be directed to Shatavia Joseph at sjoseph@sao17.state.fl.us or fax (954) 831-7321.

All applicants must provide to the felony PTI program a notarized typed sworn statement detailing the facts and circumstances of the offense for which the applicant has been arrested/charged. If the sworn statement so provided does not contain facts indicative of knowledge or conduct on the part of the applicant consistent with guilt of all of the elements of the offense (including value of the items stolen if applicable), factually or legally, in the opinion of the State Attorney’s Office, this office will not consent to the applicant’s entry into the program.

All attorneys and applicants should review the State Attorney’s Office Pre-Trial Intervention Guidelines for conditions under which this sworn statement may be used against a defendant.

Attorneys should contact Ms. Chiappone if their client cannot sign a sworn statement of guilt based on a claim of innocence.

[Click here for a copy of the complete Pre-Trial Intervention Guidelines and    
a full description of the conditions to qualify for the Program.]

Offenses Excluded

Please note that not all third degree felony offenses are eligible for PTI. No exceptions are made to allow defendants charged with non-qualifying offenses into the PTI Program. Below are some examples of charges not eligible for the PTI program:

  • Felony of the second degree or higher
  • Any Weapons charges
  • Any type of violent crime
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Robbery
  • Fleeing/Eluding
  • DWLS, DUI, Leave Scene of Accident

  • Possession of heroin, LSD, methamphetamine, or
       one half gram or more of cocaine

  • Offenses involving vending, forging or
       counterfeiting private labels
  • Crimes indicative of an organized scheme to defraud
  • Welfare Fraud
  • Unemployment Compensation Fraud
  • Offenses against governmental entities
  • Possession of an anti-shoplifting control device
  • Restitution owed over $5,000 at time of
       application
  • Attempted Residential Burglary
  • Drug Offenses

    Defendants charged with a qualifying third degree felony drug possession offense and who otherwise meet the requirements for admission into the felony PTI program may be admitted into the program. Possession of heroin, LSD, methamphetamine, or one half gram or more of cocaine are offenses not eligible for felony PTI. Furthermore, the State will not permit a defendant charged with a qualifying offense into the program when the facts or circumstances indicate that the defendant was involved in dealing drugs. All PTI participants are subject to random drug testing. It should be noted and understood that a single positive drug test will cause a defendant to be dismissed from the program. However, those dismissed from the felony PTI program may still be eligible to participate in Drug Court, subject to the rules of that program. Defendants charged with a drug offense who are terminated from the felony PTI program for unsuccessful completion will be automatically referred to Drug Court. Please note, defendants who have entered into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) in Drug Court are not eligible for the felony PTI program.

    A completed application to the felony PTI Program must include the following original documents:

    Faxed copies are not acceptable:

    Sub-Sections:   [click here for a Complete Application Packet of the below individual required documents]
    1. PTI Document Checklist
    2. Deferred Prosecution Agreement, signed and witnessed
    3. Waiver of Rights, signed and notarized
    4. Statement of Admission, typed, signed and notarized
    5. Copy of Probable Cause Affidavit
    6. Copy of Information
    7. Felony PTI Initial Data Sheet
    8. PTI Interview Worksheet, signed and notarized

    These original signed and notarized documents should be mailed to:

    Felony Pre-Trial Intervention Program
    Department of Corrections
    5610 NW 9th Avenue
    Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309
    Phone:  954-267-4948

    **Faxed or photocopied application packets will not be accepted**

    For further information, contact Shatavia Joseph at sjoseph@sao17.state.fl.us or 954-831-6371 .