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The State Attorney’s Office in Hillsborough County uses a diversion program for a case involving a first time accusation of domestic violence. The domestic violence intervention program (DVIP) is a diversion program that ultimately results in the charge being dropped if all conditions are met within the alloted time. DVIP essentially diverts the criminal cases away from the courts in Tampa and Plant City, FL.
Entering a diversion program for a domestic violence battery case is NOT the best option if you are innocent or the prosecutor can’t prove the accusation beyond all reasonable doubt at trial. Completing the sanctions imposed in the diversion programs can be extremely time consuming and expensive.
If you are a professional with a license to do your job, entering a diversion program might be career ending. For many professionals, entering a diversion program is considered an admission that you were guilty of the underlying offense. For example, the handbook for many county school boards in Florida provide that a teach or certified educator must self-report entering any type of “diversion program” within forty-eight ( 48) hours to appropriate authorities (as determined by district) even if the teacher was not required to report the arrest or the filing of charges.
If you are rejected from the diversion program because you are not eligible or because you fail to meet one of the special conditions, then the prosecutor with the State Attorney’s Office will file a request for a new court date that provides:
“This is to advise that the above-referenced defendant has been rejected from the Domestic Violence Intervention Program (DVIP). Please schedule for arraignment and issue a summons for the defendant to the update address on file.”
Don’t consider entering a diversion program in Hillsborough County, FL, until you are sure it is in your best interest after talking to an experienced criminal defense attorney.
If you are considering entering a diversion program for a domestic violence charge but are concerned about the impact it will have on your career or if you have been rejected from DVIP, PTI, MIP or another diversion program in Tampa, FL, then contact an attorney at the Sammis Law Firm. We can help you fight the charges aggressively so that you can fight for the best result in your case.
Our domestic violence attorneys in Tampa, FL, are familiar with way domestic violence cases are prosecuted in Hillsborough County, FL. For a domestic violence case in the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, we can help you fight the case whether your case will be prosecuted at the courthouse in Tampa or Plant City, FL.
Call (813) 250-0500 today.
Successfully completing the Domestic Violence Intervention Program (DVIP) in Tampa and Hillsborough County, FL, requires complying with a variety of special conditions explained in this article. The DVIP program was created for men and women accused of domestic violence. The program is designed to reverse the cycle of domestic violence and keeping the family unit intact.
DVIP equires the alleged offender to complete a 26 week Batterer’s Intervention Program, as well as a substance abuse evaluation and/or other recommended treatment if deemed necessary. To complete the program, the defendant must enter a guilty plea to the charges in order to participate in this eight month program.
If the defendant successfully completes the program, the plea will be vacated and the case will be nolle prossed (dropped). This allows the offender to then apply to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in a separate proceeding to seal or expunge their criminal record if otherwise legally eligible.
You should also know that the State Attorney’s Office for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, in and for Hillsborough County, FL, has announced a policy to aggressively seek the relinquishment of firearms from domestic violence defendants through bond conditions, plea agreements, terms of probation, and entry into diversion programs such as the Domestic VIolence Intervention Program (DVIP). This applies to any defendant who has been charged based on probable cause with having committed an act of domestic violence.
Most domestic violence offenses are not eligible or the adult pre-arrest diversion program (APAD). For the Domestic Violence Misdemeanor Intervention Program, the defendant must be charged with one of the following offenses:
Whether the criminal charge is eligible for diversion is determined by the State Attorney’s Office on a case by case basis dependent upon the facts surrounding the charge. Eligibility for the domestic violence diversion program requires that the defendant has no prior adult felony arrests and/or convictions and not more than one prior conviction for a non-violent misdemeanor crime.
A defendant is only permitted to participate in this program once in a lifetime. Additionally, the victim must consent to the defendant’s participation in this program.
This article was last updated on Friday, April 13, 2018.