If the first-time offender qualifies for the program, they will have an opportunity to have their case dismissed upon successful completion of the program.
PTD is for misdemeanor offenses, and PTI is for felony offenses.
PTD and PTI are deferred prosecution programs. That means that the applicant does not enter a plea of guilty or receive a judicial sentence. All it means is that the applicant agrees to complete certain conditions, upon which the State will dismiss the charges against them.
Conditions may include classes, such as anger management if the charge is domestic violence. The applicant may also have to perform community service hours or pay restitution if applicable.
However, there is one thing that every PTD/PTI applicant must know: Successful completion of your PTD/PTI program may result in a dismissal of the charges, but it does not mean that the charges automatically come off of your record.
You MUST expunge your arrest.
Expunging a criminal record means that a record of the arrest itself is destroyed. The process takes 4-6 months and should always be done by a South Florida criminal defense attorney who has experience in the expungment of records.
The reason I recommend the hiring of an attorney is because the process can be complicated, and requires the skill and knowledge of a lawyer.
I have many clients who completed PTD/PTI years ago, and did not realize that the arrest stays on your record. The way many of these clients find out is that they applied for jobs and were denied employment when their background checks showed that they had been arrested.
Getting your criminal record expunged permits you to legally deny an arrest. That means that if you are applying for private employment, you can legally tell your interviewer that you have never been arrested. You may also put that information on your job application.
There are a few agencies that have the right to know if you have ever been arrested, regardless of an expungement.
Expungement is a good thing. It truly gives people a second chance. Don't let some silly misdemeanor or felony charge hold you back.
I handle countless expungements for clients in Miami-Dade and Broward. If you would like to clean your criminal record, call me today.