Criminal justice isn’t always as simple as someone going to trial and being found guilty or not guilty. There are many other avenues that prosecutors and the accused can use to reach justice.
One such alternative is a pre-trial intervention. This is a process where first-time offenders can avoid trial, opting instead to undergo rehabilitation. The accused need not officially plead guilty, and once they finish their court-ordered programs, they are free from all charges against them.
Some people consider pre-trial intervention a “get-out-of-jail-free” card, but this is a limited way to look at the program. It still requires a lot of work, time, and expense for the accused. Also, even though the accused isn’t admitting guilty, there’s still a general understanding that they are sorry for their crimes and willing to correct their criminal behavior. That may be an unacceptable stance for some, and they’d rather fight out their defense in court.
What Happens in Pre-Trial Intervention?
There are many elements in a pretrial intervention. You must attend and pay for counseling. If you haven’t finished high school or are unemployed, you will be asked to obtain a GED and maintain gainful employment.
You will also be asked to complete community service hours. There are other elements like a curfew, regular drug testing, avoiding further legal troubles, and keeping up with all fees associated with the program.
When Should You Consider Pre-Trail Intervention?
When the prosecution has a strong case against you, pre-trial intervention could keep you out of jail or other harsh penalties.
The crime itself is relevant as well. Pre-trial intervention applies only to non-violent crimes like drug offenses, theft crimes, and so on.
You should also carefully consider each step in the process. The state demands you be meticulous about following every part of the plan. Any misstep could invalidate the whole process, sending your case straight to trial. Do not embark on this journey if you don’t have the time or the money to pay for the various expenses.
Benefits of Pre-Trial Intervention
It bears repeating: Opting for a pre-trial intervention protects you from criminal penalties. You can avoid incarceration, probation, etc. It allows you to avoid fighting your charges in court. You must follow the state’s plan, which may feel like a punishment, but you won’t have a guilty verdict on your record.
Your record itself can be protected as well. Eventually, your intervention can be expunged, keeping you clean on background checks.
If you believe you can benefit from a pre-trial intervention, reach out to our firm for help. We can review your case, so call (803) 938-4952 today to schedule a consultation . You can also contact us online.