There is a potential option to a guilty plea or trial for those charged with a Federal Offense in South Carolina. The United State Probation Service operates a pretrial diversion program that may be considered for certain eligible defendants.
In order to be considered for the program the defendant must meet certain criteria including:
1. Be charged with an offense not designated for referral to State prosecutors;
2. Have a limited prior criminal history including more than one felony conviction;
3. Not be a public official or former official charged with a public trust violation;
4. Not be charged with an offense related to national security or foreign affairs.
Referral into the program is only by consent and approval of the United States Attorney responsible for prosecution. The defendant will have to comply with all terms and condition of the program which will include restitution if necessary.
This program is comparable to the pre-trial intervention program operated by South Carolina's prosecutors for offenses pending in the Court of General Sessions, Magistrate Court and Municipal Court.
Upon completion of the program the defendant's charges will be dismissed. Failure to complete the program will result in the case being referred back to Court for prosecution.