If you’re facing your first criminal offense charges in Columbia, South Carolina, you’ll probably be interested in learning more about the city’s Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI). This program allows first-time offenders, who’re charged with nonviolent crimes, to avoid the traditional prosecution process and the extremely negative ramifications of a criminal conviction.

Columbia’s Pretrial Intervention Program

PTI allows first-time offenders a virtual do-over. As the defendant, you’ll need to be amenable to the support services offered by the PTI program, which are designed to provide you with the support you need to move beyond whatever criminal activity you’ve been charged with. Columbia’s PTI program empowers participants to help themselves move past those personal circumstances that contribute to their engagement in criminal activities in the first place. The program accomplishes this lofty goal via rehabilitative services that are customized for every participant.

The Requirements

In exchange for this one-time offer of a second chance, the program requires you to complete several important tasks and to fulfill a variety of responsibilities:

  • Complete the entire PTI program;
  • Do everything required of you by the court;
  • Pay a $635 non-refundable program fee;
  • Pass any necessary drug tests (which vary on a case-by-case basis);
  • Fully participate in the program’s activities, educational classes, and counseling sessions (including individual and group session);
  • Pay restitution to any victims of the crime you committed;
  • Remain arrest-free throughout your enrollment in the PTI program; and
  • Perform between 30 and 50 hours of community service.

It may seem like a huge responsibility to take on, but you very well may consider your opportunity to participate in Columbia’s PTI program priceless once you’ve completed it.

Do You Qualify for PTI?

Not everyone charged with a criminal offense qualifies for the PTI program. It’s important to understand who is allowed into this program. There are several eligibility requirements that you must meet:

  • You must be at least 17 years old;
  • The offense you’re charged with must be your first;
  • The charge can’t be for a violent crime; and
  • Either a judge from a bond court or a member of law enforcement must refer you to the Pretrial Intervention Program.

In addition to a violent crime charge excluding you from acceptance into the program, so too will a conviction of driving under the influence.

Your Acceptance in the Program

If you’re accepted into the PTI program, it means that your criminal charges will be placed on hold. And if you complete the program and fulfill your agreed upon responsibilities, your case won’t be tried in court. It’s important to keep in mind that the PTI program is a one-time deal – there are no do-overs on this one.

Contact Criminal Defense Attorney William A. Hodge in Columbia, South Carolina, Today

Criminal charges are frightening and extremely stressful. If this is your first offense, however – and you otherwise quality – Columbia’s PTI program is an excellent opportunity to set things right. William A. Hodge, Attorney at Law, is here to help, so please give us a call at 803-457-2216 or contact us online today.