The Florida Legislature recognizes the need to identify and divert some offenders from would-be incarceration to rehabilitative programs. The State Attorney's Office cooperates with selected agencies to work within Florida statutes, ensuring eligible first-time offenders are not incarcerated in exchange for participation in and completion of these programs.
One such program is the Misdemeanor Pretrial Diversion Program (PDP), offering eligible misdemeanor offenders an alternative to formal criminal prosecution. PDP participants sign a contract with the State of Florida agreeing to comply with program requirements and sanctions, and waiving their right to an expedient trial. Participants are typically supervised six (6) to twelve (12) months, dependent upon severity of offense. Upon successful completion of the program and included sanctions, criminal charges for the case are dropped, enabling the offender to avoid conviction and a criminal record. All referrals to Misdemeanor PDP must originate with a recommendation by the Office of the State Attorney.
The program requirements include the payment of all applicable program fees and costs of prosecution.
Program Payment fees:
$360.00 - 6 months or fewer
$560.00 - 9 months
$720.00 - 12 months
The Pretrial Diversion Program is a voluntary program funded entirely
by participant fees. Therefore, fees are not eligible
for reduction or waiver.)
Additional sanctions may be included as deemed appropriate for the individual and offense. These include, but are not limited to:
No contact or un-consented contact with victim
Payment of restitution to victims
AA or NA meeting attendance
Payment of investigation fees to applicable law enforcement agency
Regular contact with a Criminal Justice Officer (at least monthly)
Alcohol and/or substance abuse evaluation and any treatment recommended at participant's expense
Community service hours at an approved agency with insurance fee paid by participant (minimum of 32 hours)
Psychological or psychiatric evaluation and any treatment recommended at participant's expense
Random Drug/Alcohol testing at participant's expense
Educational classes may also be deemed necessary. These include:
26 week Batterer's Intervention Program (domestic violence cases)
Victim Awareness Program
Parenting and Child Rearing Skills
HIV Awareness Program
In addition to the Pretrial Diversion Program, the State Attorney's Office also has a Worthless Check Diversion Program (WCDP). WCDP allows first-time worthless check offenders to avoid formal court proceedings by paying restitution to victims, completing a Financial Responsibility Class, and paying administrative fees and service charges. When all sanctions and fees are successfully completed and remitted, criminal worthless check charges are dropped.