Domestic Violence Pretrial Diversion (Batterer Intervention)

Both Pretrial Diversion (PTD) and Pretrial Intervention (PTI) are available, to some extent, for domestic violence offenses.

In Miami-Dade County, PTD (misdemeanor domestic violence) and PTI (felony domestic violence) can be offered to an accused person if the accused has no priors, the alleged victim was not severely injured, and the alleged victim agrees.

One of the conditions of domestic violence diversion is successful completion of the Batterer Intervention Program, which is a class that the accused must take for about one hour a week for about 26 weeks. The class addresses issues such as conflict resolution, anger management, and delves into the causes of domestic violence.

In Broward County, diversion may be offered for very minor misdemeanor domestic violence offenses, such as a shove, push, or non-physical assault. For felony domestic violence offenses, forget it.

Miami-Dade County will offer PTD to qualified misdemeanor domestic violence offenders as well as PTI to qualified felony domestic violence offenders.

If the alleged victim does not approve, the accused has priors, or the offense causes serious injury to the alleged victim, then diversion will not be offered.

Sometimes you have to work hard to get diversion in a DV case. It is possible for the state to offer jail or prison one day and then diversion the next. This takes work to expose weaknesses in the state's case as many DV cases are he-said/she-said.

If you go into diversion for a domestic violence offense, you will spend about 7 months in the program. It is intense and inconvenient, but in the end, your charge(s) will be dismissed and you may be able to expunge the arrest.

If you recall from earlier posts, if you plead guilty or no contest to a domestic violence offense (misdemeanor or felony), you cannot seal the arrest. When you go into diversion, you are maintaining your plea of not guilty. You are simply agreeing to complete the conditions in exchange for dismissal of your charges.

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