It depends. But before I tell you what the program involves, remember what it does: it gets the domestic violence charge dismissed AND wiped off your criminal record. Clients I’ve qualified for the program agree it doesn’t get much better than that.
Here are more specifics about the components and cost of the Solicitor’s Intervention Program (SIP).
What SIP Consists Of
Certain parts of the program are mandatory, while others are used only if the program deems it necessary for you. Here are some typical components of the program:
- Batterer’s Treatment Program, also called “anger management,” is generally once a week for 1.5 hours per class. It takes 26 weeks to complete. This class is mandatory, as it’s the centerpiece of the program.
- Alcohol or substance abuse counseling. You may be required to do this if there are allegations of drug or alcohol use involved in the incident.
- Random drug screens. Again, these may only be required if there are allegations of drug use.
- Mental health evaluation, with the requirement for you to abide by any doctor’s orders. This is not mandatory for every participant, but it may be used if there are mental health concerns from the incident.
- Community service. This is often required. The program may allow you to “buy” up to 30 hours if you have a full-time job or multiple part-time jobs that equal around 40 hours a week. One hour costs $5. Often, the program lets you choose where you want to do the service, so it’s a great chance for you to give back to a place that’s meaningful to you.
- Monthly reporting to a program representative assigned to your case. It’s basically a checkup to make sure you’re completing the program on time and to see how you’re doing overall. You’ll likely do this.
- “Get Smart” program, a presentation by prison inmates about how their crimes affected their lives and the lives of others so that you won’t make the same mistakes. This is often required.
- Written assignment on law and accountability. It’s basically an essay on what you learned from your experience and possibly how it affected you and others. You should count on doing this.
While this might seem like a lot, my clients seem to disagree. I’ve never gotten any complaints that this was too much to do to get the result the program offers.
The Cost of SIP
Here are the costs associated with the program, which you pay over time:
- $100 application fee. This is due when you apply to see if the program will let you in.
- $250 participation fee. Once you’re accepted into the program, you pay this fee. It usually occurs 4-6 weeks after you have paid the application fee.
- Batterers Treatment/Anger Management is $25-$35 per class, depending on which program you get assigned.
- Random drug screens cost $25 per test, but those fees might not be due until the end of the program.
- The last, best cost: expungement order processing fee of around $285. While this is optional, it is the best government fee you’ll ever pay because it gets the charge wiped off your record. Once this processing fee is paid, several weeks later, you’ll get a court order directing law enforcement agencies to remove the charge from your criminal record and destroy all reports of it except for one, which is kept at State Law Enforcement Division headquarters in Columbia for the sole purpose of making sure you don’t go through the SIP program again.
Give Yourself the Best Shot at Wiping the Slate Clean
While it’s a government program, SIP is far from a handout. You’ve got to convince up to three opponents that they should drop the case against you and give you a shot at a new start. You may be facing an angry victim, a determined officer, and a hard-nosed prosecutor—and they don’t want to give up the gratification of a conviction against you.
To give yourself the best shot at a new start, you need a professional who can handle convincing these folks to let go. If you’re wondering what it’s like for us to handle your case, check out the reviews on a website I don’t own. It won’t cost you a thing to sit down with me to get your questions answered—and for the first time in your case, you’ll be talking to a professional whose job it is to get you to a brighter day. To start building your defense, call us at 888-230-1841.