Many times, citizens commit crimes out of foolishness, and learn their lesson via probation. However, those actively on probation, as well as former probationers are often times accused of violations of probations because of simple, sometimes harmless errors in judgment. If one has been arrested for a probation violation, one should obtain an experienced attorney to fight the case and ensure one’s rights are protected.
According to ESPN, Trevor Mbakwe was arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI). Mbakwe pleaded guilty and was sentenced to one year of probation and community service. Mbakwe is still on probation in Florida, the remnants of a plea agreement forged after a felony assault charge from 2009. Mbakwe had originally been sentenced to work through a pre-trial diversion program, but was bounced from the program in January 2011, when an ex-girlfriend reported a Facebook message Mbakwe posted on her wall, violating a restraining order.
Some defendants who are arrested for their first DUI in Jacksonville are able to get into a program known as Pre-trial Intervention (PTI). The PTI program is administered by the State of Florida through the Department of Corrections (DOC). Eligible individuals who enter into a PTI agreement will be required to participate in a supervised program similar to probation, except at the end of the intervention term, if all conditions are successfully completed, the felony charge will be dismissed.
Typical conditions of PTI supervision require monthly reporting, payment of supervision fees, community service and appropriate counseling or treatment if deemed necessary after an evaluation. PTI agreements can be fit to the needs of particular defendants depending on the nature of the charge. The PTI program provides eligible defendants charged with a crime the opportunity to be diverted from traditional criminal sentencing alternatives and the ability to avoid a criminal conviction record and the likelihood of some form of incarceration.
Some jurisdictions require signed contracts for PTI, while others require an admission of guilt, calling the contract a “Deferred Prosecution Agreement.” As a general rule, PTI is one of the best and most sought after arrangements by defense attorneys, and is available to only a very small percentage of defendants. Some clients refuse PTI; at that point, the State Attorney’s Office will file the case, deeming the client as a “PTI-Reject.”
There are many benefits to entering a PTI agreement, including:
– Reducing the likelihood for those who successfully complete PTI to be repeat offenders
– Avoiding potential criminal charges
– Avoiding a potential permanent criminal record
– Receiving counseling or psychological treatment
– Having one’s criminal record of arrest expunged, if eligible
– Avoiding the stress and cost of a criminal trial
Even if one is not eligible for the Pretrial Intervention Program, with the help of an experienced Jacksonville probation violations defense attorney, one could persuade the Judge to render a much lighter punishment that would involve counseling, house arrest or a slightly longer probation, rather than just incarceration.
The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for years and are here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.
Additional Source: Trevor Mbakwe could face jail time, Eamonn Brennan, ESPN.com