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No DUI Diversion Program in Pinellas County

Although the State Attorney’s Office in Pinellas County has diversion programs for most types of misdemeanors and felonies, any DUI charge is not eligible for a diversion program.

What is a diversion program? A diversion program involves “diverting” a case away from the court system in exchange for a person completing certain tasks like getting counseling or performing community service. After the special conditions are completed and the person stays out of trouble for a period of time, the case is closed, the charges are dropped completely, or the charges are reduced to a less serious offense.

In March of 2018, the State Attorney’s Office in Hillsborough County created a diversion program for a first DUI case called RIDR. Completing RIDR does not result in the charges being dismissed, but it does result in the DUI being reduced to reckless driving with a withhold of adjudication. The withhold means that case might be eligible to be sealed. Click here to learn more about the DUI RIDR Diversion program in Hillsborough County, FL.

Although Pinellas County doesn’t have a formal diversion program, the prosecutors often drop DUI charges to reckless driving if they are worried about getting a “not guilty” verdict at trial. In some cases, the prosecutor has to drop the DUI charges entirely, especially if the criminal defense attorney has filed a motion to dismiss or a motion to suppress or exclude evidence.

If you get your case dropped to reckless driving with an agreement that adjudication is withheld, then you might be eligible to seal the record.

Attorney for DUI in Pinellas County, FL

If you were arrested for DUI in Pinellas County, FL, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Sammis Law Firm. We can help you demand a formal review hearing within 10 days of your arrest, which is the only way to contest the administrative suspension of your driver’s license.

We can also help you fight to get the DUI charges dropped or dismissed in court. In Pinellas County, FL, DUI cases are prosecuted at the Pinellas County Justice Center located at 14250 49th St N in Clearwater, FL.

Before you decide, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Sammis Law Firm who is focused on DUI defense.

Call 813-250-0500.


Other Types of Diversion Programs in Pinellas County, FL

Depending on the program, diversion might be offered on a pre-arrest basis or post-arrest basis. Other diversion programs in Pinellas County, FL, include:

  • Misdemeanor Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) Program – After an arrest or the issuance of a “notice to appear” in court for a certain types of misdemeanors, a person might be eligible to enter a diversion program to get the charges dismissed. The program allows low-level offenses to complete sanctions on a voluntary basis such as community service, treatment and fines in exchange for getting charges dropped. The types of misdemeanor charges that might be eligible for PTI include:
    • Obstructing or Resisting Arrest or Obstructing an Officer without Violence
    • Disorderly Conduct
    • Solicitation for Prostitution
    • Exposure of Sexual Organs
    • Lewd or Lascivious Conduct
    • Worthless Checks,
    • Theft of Utilities
    • Unlicensed Contracting
  • Domestic Violence Intervention Program (DVIP) – DVIP must pay a fee and complete class for anger management or batterer’s intervention.
  • Adult Pre-Arrest Diversion (APAD) – Many types of misdemeanor offenses are eligible for the APAD diversion program which helps the person avoid being arrested at all for charges that might include possession of marijuana, petit theft, criminal mischief, or battery.
  • Bad Check Checks Diversion Program (BCDP) – Available for cases involving passing a bad or worthless check or a check on an account closed or with insufficient funds.
  • Felony Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) Program – Many third degree felonies that are not traffic related are eligible for Felony PTI which results in the dismissal of the charges although felony DUI cases such as a third or four DUI, DUI with serious bodily injury, or DUI manslaughter would not be eligible.
  • Felony Drug Court Program – After an arrest for a drug charge, felony drug court allows a person to seek drug treatment so that the charges can be dropped.
  • Juvenile Diversion – The Sixth Judicial Circuit’s Juvenile Diversion programs provide second chances for at-risk youths who have not previously been in the criminal justice system including Teen Court, Juvenile Drug Court, STOP (Service & Treatment for Offender Prevention), Juvenile Arrest Avoidance Program (JAAP), and Juvenile Arbitration.

This article was last updated on Friday, January 3, 2019.

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