Second Chance for First Time Offenders

In South Florida and most of its counties such as Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Broward, first time offenders being charged with a Misdemeanor have an opportunity to enter what it’s called a Misdemeanor Diversion Program, or MDP.
A misdemeanor diversion program allows those first time offenders to accept responsibility for their actions, seek rehabilitation, and divert their cases from the criminal court system. The whole program is supervised by the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
What does the defendant need to do upon entering the MDP?
It depends a lot on the specific facts of each case. If it’s a drug related activity, the defendant would usually have to participate in a drug abuse program. If it is a battery or domestic violence case, the defendant will be required to undergo a batterer’s intervention program.
Regardless of the facts of the case, all individuals entering the MDP will need to do 25 hours of community service and pay certain fees.
If the program takes 3 months, he or she will have to pay $300 to the probation office and $150 to the court. If it is a 6 month program, the defendant will need to pay $600 to the probation office and $150 to the court. The individual entering the MDP must be a resident of Broward county, although there are some exceptions. Students, for example, may reside elsewhere when school is in session, but will have to be in Broward county and have a verifiable address when they are not required in school. Another requirement of the MDP is that the defendant needs to physically chek-in once a month with the probation office.
If you are being charged with a misdemeanor and think you are eligible for the Misdemeanor Diversion Program, you need a criminal lawyer with experience who will be able to get you in the program and keep you case off of the criminal court system.
Call Attorney Ralph Behr at 954-761-3444

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