Were you recently arrested for your first criminal offense in Columbia, South Carolina? If so, you will be interested in learning about the Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI) and what it can do for your future. With the PTI program, a first-time offender can avoid traditional prosecution and ultimately, the consequences of a criminal conviction.
The criminal justice system is one place that you don't want to be embroiled. Often, once you are convicted and incarcerated, your chances of committing further crimes are significantly high. It's a road to nowhere that you don't want to go down.
With PTI, you're getting a second chance. You agree to accept various services, which are designed to interrupt and ultimately stop criminal behavior dead in its tracks. Surrounded by a strong support system, you have a whole team of individuals helping you identify the underlying causes of criminal behavior.
When criminal defendants embrace the PTI program, they empower themselves to cease criminal behavior, and they accomplish this through customized rehabilitative services.
In exchange for this second chance, PTI participants agree to complete their program and to do all that the court asks them to do. This often means the participant is required to:
- Pass drug tests (vary by case)
- Pay non-refundable program fees (about $635)
- Participate in all activities, educational classes and counseling sessions
- Not be arrested for another crime while enrolled in PTI
- Perform 30 to 50 hours of community service
- Pay restitution to any victims of their crimes
- Participate in individual and group counseling sessions
Additionally, participants may be required to receive vocational or educational referrals to various community agencies. The ultimate goal of PTI is to uncover and address the root causes of the participant's criminal behavior, to help them address those issues head-on, and to deter future criminal activities.
Who qualifies for PTI?
Not all criminal defendants qualify for PTI. In order to meet the eligibility requirements, you must: 1) be a first-time offender, 2) you cannot be charged with a violent crime, 3) you must be at least 17 years of age, and 4) a judge must refer you from bond court, or a member of law enforcement must refer you.
Excluded offenses include:
- Violent crimes
- Driving under the influence (DUI) convictions
- Other crimes that are prohibited by SC law
If you are accepted into South Carolina's PTI program, this means the Solicitor agrees to put your criminal charges on hold. If you participate in the program as agreed, your case will not be tried in court. Please note that you can only participate in the PTI program one time.
To learn more about the PTI program, contactour Columbia criminal defense firm. In a free case evaluation, we'd be glad to explain your legal options!