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PTI In Burglary Of A Dwelling Cases

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Pretrial Intervention (PTI) is different depending on whether your criminal case is in Broward County or Miami-Dade County.

I can tell you that it is far easier to get PTI in Miami-Dade cases than in Broward cases.

PTI is a program for first-time felony offenders. The program lasts from six months up to one year, during which the participant must fulfill certain conditions. Conditions may include community hours, classes, payment of fines and costs, as well as other conditions, some more specific to the type of charge (such as anger management or drug counseling).

Not every charge qualifies for PTI. Most non-violent third-degree felonies will qualify. However, what if you are charged with burglary of a dwelling (either occupied or unoccupied)? Will you qualify then?

Under Florida law, a burglary of a dwelling carries a sentencing guideline range of 21 months up to 15 years. For most offenses that "score" state prison (where a prison sentence is recommended at the bottom of the sentencing guidelines) PTI will not be offered.

That's not to say that each case may be treated differently. I can tell you with almost 100% certainty that a burglary of a dwelling charge in Broward County will almost never qualify for PTI.

As far as Miami-Dade County is concerned, I have successfully enrolled clients in PTI for burglary charges. Several factors - and this is based on my opinion not any external criteria - come into play. First and foremost, does the victim approve PTI? In Florida, deferred prosecution programs must be okayed by the victim before they are offered to the accused. Secondly, does the accused have a prior criminal history? If no, the chances of being offered PTI greatly improve.

Now victim approval and no priors are not a guarantee that you will be offered PTI for a burglary of a dwelling case. There must be extraordinary factors. For instance, how strong is the state's case? If the case were to proceed to trial, is there a liklihood of acquittal?

Another factor to consider - is the accused a U.S. citizen? If not, a plea of guilty to burglary of a dwelling - even if adjudication is withheld - can result in removal from the United States.

These are just several factors that may determine whether a person charged with burglary of a dwelling will receive PTI.

If you have been charged with any burglary offense in Miami-Dade or Broward and are seeking the services of an experienced burglary attorney, call me.