Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) in South Carolina
By Chris Beddow, Criminal Defense Lawyer in Rock Hill SC
If you face allegations of criminal charges in South Carolina, felony or misdemeanor, it’s normal to be concerned about what will happen, or uncertain about what you should do next. It is in your best interest to seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney and begin your defense strategy without delay. It’s also reasonable to ask questions like, “Should I plead guilty?” or “Is Pre-Trial Intervention in South Carolina an option?”
PTI Pre-Trial Intervention is a costly, time-consuming process. If allowed to enroll, you must strictly adhere to every guideline in order to avoid dismissal from the program. Before even considering any diversionary program in South Carolina criminal court, the first thing to determine is this: Can the State make its case? Our defense lawyers are prepared to take every case to trial, requiring the State to prove criminal charges Beyond a Reasonable Doubt.
As a last resort, we encourage some clients to enter and complete the Pre-Trial Intervention Program (PTI) when they are first-time offenders charged with a non-violent criminal offense. We only recommend PTI when the prosecution has a strong case against the client and it appears likely the client will be convicted of the underlying allegations of criminal charges. It is extremely important to carefully consider the factual scenario behind the charges, the prior criminal record, and the South Carolina criminal laws before entering into the PTI program.
Our defense lawyers provide sound legal advice and guidance from the beginning of your case until its resolution. Our ultimate goal in any case is to get your charges dismissed, if possible, and work to avoid jail time or additional fines and costs associated with a conviction of criminal charges. At Powers Law Firm PA, Defense Lawyer Chris Beddow handles criminal charges in York County SC and Rock Hill, South Carolina.
Our defense attorneys offer legal representation to determine the facts of your criminal charges and whether the prosecution can prove its case against you. The benefit of PTI is that your charges are dismissed if, and only if, you successfully complete the program. Not every type of criminal charge or criminal defendant is eligible for Pre-Trial Intervention. That’s one reason it’s so important to seek legal representation without delay and protect your legal rights.
The Pre-Trial Intervention Program in South Carolina is a diversionary program that allows first-time offenders an alternative to traditional prosecution in a criminal courtroom. A benefit of the PTI program is you DO NOT have to plead guilty to apply for the program. Simply stated, those who have not plead guilty to the criminal charges may enter the PTI program (if eligible). However, the program is only for first-time offenders, so any past criminal history will exclude you from the program.
The Pre-Trial Intervention program in South Carolina seeks to provide first-time offenders a second chance through rehabilitation services, when those efforts can potentially prevent future criminal behavior. Participants are required to perform community service, make restitution to any victims, and participate in individual and group counseling sessions.
The SC PTI program guidelines are rigid (strict). Any non-adherence or non-compliance by a participant will result in that participant’s dismissal from the program and possible later conviction for criminal charges. The PTI program lasts for a minimum of 90 days but may take longer depending on the severity and nature of the charge. Furthermore, you cannot participate in Pre-Trial Intervention in South Carolina more than once.
It is in your best interest to comply with PTI guidelines and do everything you are ordered to do to prevent your dismissal from the program. Once dismissed from the program, your case becomes active and will be placed on the criminal docket for prosecution.
Anyone otherwise eligible, 17 years old, and who is a first-time offender may apply for PTI. Each applicant charged with a criminal offense must be referred from bond court by a judge, an attorney (e.g., solicitor) or a member of South Carolina law enforcement.
Once you are arrested in South Carolina, and only after you consult with a criminal defense attorney and the lawyer recommends PTI, we recommend clients apply for the intervention program as soon as possible. At Powers Law Firm PA, once an attorney-client relationship is established, we will assist you in gathering are necessary documentation for the application process.
Important Note: People charged with a violent offense or a DUI in South Carolina (Driving Under the Influence) are NOT eligible to participate in PTI Pre-Trial Intervention in South Carolina, even for a first-time offense.What to Expect From the SC Pre-Trial Intervention Program?
If you are accepted into the PTI program, the solicitor will place a hold on your criminal case and will not call it to trial so long as (AND ONLY IF) you are compliant with PTI guidelines and complete the program.
Once enrolled in the PTI Program, you should be prepared to:
- Pay the $250 participation fee
- Pay a $100 initial consultation fee (not associated with legal fees)
- Pay counseling and drug screen fees as directed
- Perform approximately 30-50 hours of community service work (case-by-case basis)
- Consent to and complete random drug tests and drug screens
- Pay restitution payments to any victim
- Adhere to a no tolerance policy regarding new criminal charges
- If charged with additional criminal offenses while doing PTI, you will be removed from the program.
- Complete any assignments given by the PTI office
- Take a jail or prison tour
For a FREE CASE EVALUATION regarding your criminal charges in Rock Hill SC or York County, South Carolina, please call Chris Beddow at: 877-462-3841.