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Broward's Misdemeanor Diversion Program Explained

Broward County’s equivalent of Pretrial Diversion is known as the Misdemeanor Diversion Program, or MDP.

Unlike Pretrial Diversion (PTD) in Miami-Dade County, MDP must be accepted within 30 days of arraignment. If your attorney fails to accept MDP within 30 days of arraignment, you will not get to participate.

You may not demand discovery nor move your case from any one of the Broward satellite courthouses.

You may participate in MDP for offenses such as trespass, possession of marijuana, disorderly intoxication, loitering and prowling, and petit theft.

If your offense took place in the City of Fort Lauderdale, you may be able to participate in the City of Fort Lauderdale Diversion Program which includes paying a small fee and participating in 10 community service hours, although you may buy out the hours at a rate of $10 per hour.

Some offenses do not qualify for MDP, such as violent misdemeanor offenses - like assault or battery. As well, Broward rarely, if ever, offers diversion for misdemeanor domestic violence cases.

If accepted into MDP, your program will last 90-180 days. You must complete 25 community service hours at locations approved by the program. As well, you may have to take a class depending on the offense. You will also have to pay a program fee of a couple hundred dollars.

If you successfully complete MDP, you will have your charge dismissed and you may be able to expunge your record.

Unlike PTD which may allow a participant to have prior arrests, MDP will not accept you if you have ever been arrested for anything, even if the case was ultimately dropped. This includes juvenile arrests. You can literally have no prior arrests or criminal charges of any kind.

MDP may be the right decision for you if you are charged with a misdemeanor in Broward. Discuss the matter with your Broward criminal lawyer.