In South Carolina, there is a program called Pretrial Intervention (PTI) that’s part of each circuit solicitor’s office. In some cases, PTI allows certain people charged with certain crimes an opportunity to avoid court all together. Most importantly, it can also allow a person to avoid a conviction.
Here at Holland & Usry, we think of Pretrial Intervention as a “second chance” program. Participants are required to perform community service, make restitution to their victims (if any), and participate in counseling. They may receive referrals to educational or vocational agencies. The goal of PTI is to rehabilitate and deter future criminal behavior, and to allow the defendant to move on in his or her life as a better person without a criminal record. If you complete PTI your charge is dismissed and expunged automatically.
Who’s Eligible for Pretrial Intervention?
Not every individual is eligible for PTI. Not every crime is eligible for PTI. That said, don't just count yourself out if you've got major charges- we've gotten clients into PTI for felonies, including drug charges. Here are some of the most important restrictions:
- Certain crimes of violence are excluded from the program. While criminal domestic violence third degree is eligible for PTI, more serious domestic violence charges are ineligible. But even for more serious charges, you might qualify- with the right legal help- for an option to avoid conviction and remove the charge from your record.
- Driving under the influence and other traffic violations are excluded from PTI.
- People who have completed PTI previously—and those who have been kicked out of PTI after being accepted previously—are ineligible for the program.
- In crimes where there is a victim, the victim’s opinion will be considered in the decision whether to offer PTI to the offender. However, the decision to refer an otherwise eligible defendant rests with the solicitor or prosecutor handing the case.
It’s important you do not delay when your future is at stake. If you have been charged with a crime and would like to know if you are eligible for PTI, please do not hesitate to contact us at 864-582-0416 or toll-free at 888-230-1841 for your FREE, confidential consultation.