Second chances are some of the best opportunities that we can come across in life, especially when it comes to criminal liability. Many criminal systems throughout the country have created systems that allow first-time offenders to undergo rehabilitative treatment in lieu of jail time. Known as Pre-Trial Intervention (“PTI”) programs or Deferred Prosecution (“DP”), the participant is allowed to perform community service, take a series of courses, or accomplish some other activity in exchange for a deferment of prosecution. Upon successful completion, the defendant will typically not have a criminal record and will also likely not have to pay legal fees commonly associated with criminal proceedings.
According to Florida Statute Section 948.08, prosecutors in Florida can choose whether to opt for a PTI program as opposed to prosecuting a case against a first-time offender. Typically, if the first-time offender committed a non-violent crime, the prosecution will offer a PTI program in lieu of prosecuting the charge. This program also allows a successful participant to seek the expungement or sealing of his or her record, which can further facilitate rehabilitation.
Often, defendants find themselves facing a difficult situation when the prosecutor revokes the PTI program after the defendant has completed the program partially or in full. In 1990, a defendant faced this very issue. The prosecution revoked the defendant’s PTI agreement, and the defendant filed a motion seeking specific performance of the prosecution’s offer. The lower court agreed that the prosecution could not revoke the PTI program offer once the defendant started complying with its provisions and granted the defendant’s motion.