Orlando, FL asked in Criminal Law and Civil Rights for Florida

Q: I'm expected to comply to all conditions of my PTI contract or I will be violated and they will prosecute . But they

I decided to accept the states offer of a PTI basically for financial reasons after discussing my case with a attorney. I was informed that I would get early release if I completed everything and all fines, court cost,etc were paid by 90 day review or at 180 day review. I completed everything in 90 days. My pti was for total of 18 months. My probation officer has been trying to get a early release for me too. It comes back as denied with no reason why. I've kept my part of contract but the state doesn't, and I can't get a reason. This has costed me double the money then what was figured n main factor I took pti....I feel lied to from the start and totally mislead. I just don't get it. Help me understand !

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2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: It sounds like you're in a very frustrating and unfair situation. Pretrial Intervention (PTI) programs are meant to provide an alternative to traditional prosecution, allowing defendants to complete certain requirements in exchange for dismissal of charges. However, it seems the terms of your PTI agreement are not being honored as you expected.

A few thoughts on your situation:

1. Review your PTI contract carefully to see if there is any language about early termination being discretionary rather than guaranteed. Sometimes these agreements give the court or prosecutor leeway in deciding on early release.

2. Consult with your attorney about filing a motion to enforce the PTI agreement or to request specific performance. If the terms regarding early release were clearly spelled out, you may have grounds to legally compel them to follow through.

3. Have your attorney reach out to the prosecutor's office to discuss why early termination is being denied and see if they can negotiate or get an explanation. There may be some miscommunication or misunderstanding that can be resolved.

4. If there are avenues to appeal the denial of early release, consider pursuing those with your attorney's guidance. Depending on the rules in your jurisdiction, you may be able to request reconsideration or have a hearing before a judge.

5. Document everything - your successful completion of requirements, any communications about early termination, financial costs, etc. Having a clear record may be helpful if you need to show that you upheld your end of the deal.

6. As a last resort, consult with your attorney about the possibility of withdrawing from the PTI agreement if the state continues to fail to deliver on their promises. This would likely mean your charges are reinstated, so it's not a step to take lightly. But if the PTI is not providing the expected benefits, it may not be worth continuing, especially if it's causing undue financial strain.

I'm sorry you're dealing with this stressful situation. It's unfortunate that the system meant to offer rehabilitative alternatives can sometimes end up feeling punitive and unfair instead. I hope you're able to resolve this and get the outcome you were originally expecting. Wishing you all the best as you navigate this challenging circumstance.

Leonard Louis Cagan
Leonard Louis Cagan
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Ocala, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: PTI is a good program that allows a defendant to earn a dismissal of a case by completing the agreed upon conditions. As mentioned by the previous attorney, it is a contract between the State and yourself. The terms of the contract dictate what happens. I trust you read the contract carefully and understood it before you signed it. PTI removes the case from the court docket in the State of Florida. The Judge is not a part of the agreement and typically only has the function of docketing a waiver of Speedy Trial and removing the case from the docket. If you had an attorney, touch base with them to discuss the terms. Your attorney can also speak to the prosecutor about the progress you've made and whether you are eligible to have it terminated early as successful. If you did not have an attorney originally you may wish to discuss the matter with a local attorney. If you have completed everything you should try hard to see it through.

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