Lexington Pre-Trial Intervention Attorney

Criminal Defense Lawyer Serving Lexington, Columbia and Other Areas

Pre-trial intervention, or PTI, is a South Carolina Criminal Diversion Program operated in each county. PTI is an alternative to criminal prosecution. As a diversion program, there is no requirement that you admit guilt to participate. In fact, PTI is only for people who have not already plead guilty or been convicted by the court. To find out if you qualify, discuss your case with a Lexington criminal defense lawyer at our firm.

What You Need to Know about PTI

At the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC, we have experience negotiating pre-trial intervention (PTI) for clients who deserve a second chance. We have placed clients charged with a variety of offenses from criminal domestic violence (CDV) to armed robbery in the PTI program. To find out if PTI might be a good option for you, contact our office at your earliest convenience! This may be an ideal way to resolve a serious misdemeanor crime, such as criminal domestic violence or marijuana possession. PTI can also result in a dismissal and expungement of many serious felony crimes. Below, we have answered several common questions concerning PTI:

Why should I consider PTI for my case?
If you are accepted and complete the PTI program, this will result in a dismissal of your charge and an expungement of your arrest record.

Why not just plea bargain or pay a fine?
If you enter any criminal plea, even to a fine payment, you will face a permanent criminal record. Depending on your charge, you may also face probation, a jail sentence or driver's license suspension. These are all avoided by PTI.

If I am innocent should I consider PTI?
It depends. If the prosecutor offers you PTI and you complete the program, it will result in your case being dismissed. This is a guaranteed "best result" outcome. You will not have any risk of a jail sentence or criminal record. A criminal trial always presents some risk of being found guilty and PTI negates that possibility.

Who is eligible for PTI?
Typically individuals with no or only a very minimal criminal record will qualify. There are no age restrictions, and anyone facing criminal charges in magistrate, municipal, or general sessions courts may qualify. In almost all circumstances individuals are only eligible to go through PTI once.

Who decides if PTI is an option?
Cases are only referred to PTI upon the recommendation of the prosecutor. The judge has no authority to determine who can or can't receive PTI.

What charges can be referred to PTI?
Many misdemeanor and felony charges can be resolved through PTI. Eligible charges include criminal domestic violence, burglary, shoplifting, and drug possession. Exceptions to PTI eligibility include DUI and major violent crimes.

What does PTI involve?
Completion of PTI includes 30-50 hours of community service, a counseling program, passing drug screenings and writing a short report. PTI for criminal domestic violence will include a 26 weeks of domestic abuse counseling.

What fees are charged for PTI?
The PTI office will charge an initial $100 fee for application into the program. Upon acceptance, there is an additional charge of $250. Further there are at least two drug tests which will cost approximately $30 each.

How long does PTI take?
On average PTI takes six to nine months to complete from the time you are initially referred by the prosecutor. During this time, you remain on bond and must continue to comply with all bond restrictions and check in procedures required by your bondsman.

Do I have to enroll or complete PTI?
No. Neither the prosecutor nor the court has the authority to order you or sentence you to PTI. If you decide to enroll in PTI and then change your mind you have a right to leave the program and have your charges returned to court for prosecution.

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