I’ve Never Been in Trouble Before

Pre-trial Diversion Programs

A client charged with his first offense may be eligible for participation in the pre-trial diversion program. The State Attorney’s Office has established pre-trial diversion programs as an alternative to formal prosecution. Criteria for these programs are strict, and acceptance depends upon the approval of the victim, arresting officer, prosecutor and judge. If the client agrees to enter the diversion program, the client will have to give up his right to a speedy trial and may be required to attend classes, perform community service, pay restitution, or meet other conditions. Upon successful completion, the prosecutor dismisses the charges. If the client does not complete the program, the case will be returned to court for trial.

Drug Court

Clients charged with felony possession and/or purchase of a controlled substance, may be eligible for the Drug Court diversion program. To view the drug court program description, click here.

Misdemeanor Diversion

The Advocate Program is the private provider that supervises all misdemeanor diversion and probation cases. When a judge diverts or sentences a client, the program counselors ensure compliance with the judge’s order. The Advocate Program offers classes and group counseling in values clarification, shoplifting prevention, anger control management (conflict resolution), substance abuse, parenting and weapons safety. A client may be charged up to $150 for a six-month supervision period, depending on his ability to pay.

Traffic Case Diversion

The Drive Legal Program is a pre-trial diversion program for drivers with a suspended license who failed to appear in court or pay a fine. The clerk’s office screens all Driving While License Suspended citations for qualification for this diversion program. Eligible candidates are required to appear before a magistrate at a night report calendar. If the person accepts the conditions of the program and successfully completes it, the case(s) may be dismissed. For a description of the criminal traffic case process, click here.

For more information about driver's license suspensions, reinstatements, etc. click here.


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Law Offices of the Public Defender
Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida


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