When you’re facing criminal charges in South Carolina, pretrial intervention (PTI) could be the best option for you to avoid being prosecuted for and potential convicted of a crime. You won’t have to plead guilty, and you won’t end up being convicted of the crime, as long as you do your part in the pretrial intervention program. If you have questions about pretrial intervention and criminal defense in South Carolina, contact the David Aylor Law Offices to learn more. Here, we’ll discuss the most important information about PTI and the most common questions.
Some People Qualify for Pretrial Intervention and Others Do Not
The goal of pretrial intervention is to let you have the opportunity to improve your way of life or rectify the behavior that landed you in the hot seat through certain programs. There are many different types of crimes that can be addressed through PTI, including domestic violence crimes, larceny, drug possession, etc. Having said that, it is not an option for everyone, and for some, it simply not the best option. If it is an option for your case, you would probably be wise to take the opportunity to avoid further consequences. It help you get your charges dismissed and can even result in an expunged criminal record, so it is typically worth the effort.
Can You Get the Same Benefit from a Plea Bargain?
In some cases, accepting a plea bargain, and perhaps paying a fine, is the best thing you can do when facing criminal charges in South Carolina. However, this will usually involve probation, jail time, and potentially the suspension of your license, among other consequences. Beyond that, you’ll have a record, if you don’t already, and a worse one if you do. All of this can be prevented if you are able to get into a PTI program.
What if You are Innocent of the Crime that You’re Accused Of?
If you are innocent, then you may wish to fight your case in a trial. This could end up with a positive result, or you might end up falsely convicted of a crime you didn’t commit. With a skilled criminal defense attorney on your side, the likelihood of being wrongly convicted is much lower than if you face the charge alone. Yet, many people prefer to have the guaranteed best possible outcome which can be found in the PTI program. This completely eliminates the risks.
What if You Already Have a Criminal Record?
If your criminal record is very minimal, then you may still be eligible for PTI. However, if you’ve already gone through a PTI program or if you have a significant criminal record, then this may not be an option for you. To find out more about your options, call the David Aylor Law Offices to speak with one of our South Carolina criminal defense attorneys. Ultimately, it will be up to the prosecution to offer PTI, and the judge won’t decide this.
Is Your Charge One that Allows for PTI?
Typically, crimes that are classified as major violent crimes or crimes like driving under the influence are not eligible for PTI. However, domestic violence often is, as are crimes like shoplifting, possession of drugs, and even burglary. In many cases misdemeanor charges allow for PTI, and in some cases, even felony charges can be addressed in this way.
How Do You Complete PTI Programs?
Depending on your situation and the given program, you might have to complete counseling, pass regular drug tests, and complete several hours of community service. In some cases, it will be as little as thirty hours of community service, and in others, it will be as much as fifty hours. Then, there are different things that are specific to the charge, such as the drug tests for drug charges and the domestic abuse counseling program for domestic violence charges. You may also have to write a report based on your situation.
Do PTI Programs Cost Any Money?
There are fees associated with PTI programs. Among them are the initial application fee of $100, which does not guarantee your acceptance into the program. If you are accepted, then you will have to pay $250 dollars to officially enter the program. If you have to pass drug tests, then you will have to pay $30 for each test if there are two or more.
How Quickly Can You Complete a PTI Program?
How quickly you are able to complete a PTI program depends on the charges and the associated program. In some cases, it will take just six months, and in others it may take more than nine months. You will still be out on bond during this period of time.
Learn More About South Carolina PTI Programs
To learn more about South Carolina PTI programs and other options available to individuals who are facing criminal charges in this state, contact the determined South Carolina criminal defense attorneys at the David Aylor Law Offices for a free consultation. We’ll help you to make the best decisions for your specific and unique situation when dealing with criminal charges.