Broward SAO Diversion Programs
Diversion programs are frequently rehabilitative in nature, requiring participants to complete certain tasks within a specified amount of time, such as attending classes or performing community service. The reward for people who participate in diversion programs is usually the dismissal of the criminal charges that had been filed against them.
Not every offender is eligible for a diversion program, which are usually run by the State Attorney’s Office (SAO). Such programs often have strict eligibility requirements, but most programs are designed particularly for first-time offenders.
Attorney in Fort Lauderdale, FL Discusses Broward SAO Diversion Programs
Were you or your child recently arrested for the first time in your life in Broward County? Meltzer & Bell can help determine whether you may be eligible for a diversion program that minimizes damage to your criminal record.
Lawrence Meltzer and Steven Bell are skilled criminal defense lawyers in Fort Lauderdale who defend alleged first-time offenders in communities all over South Florida, such as Margate, Coconut Creek, Coral Springs, Davie, Deerfield Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hallandale Beach, Hollywood, and many others.
You can have our attorneys provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case when you call (954) 765-6585 to schedule a free initial consultation.
Overview of Broward County SAO Diversion Programs
- What kinds of diversion programs do the SAO in Broward County have?
- Are there any diversion programs for juvenile offenders?
- Where can I find more information about SAO diversion programs in Broward County?
Florida is comprised of 20 judicial districts, and the Seventeenth Circuit has jurisdiction over Broward County. The SAO for the Seventeenth Circuit has multiple diversion programs for certain kinds of offenders.
Some of the most common diversion programs for which people are eligible for in Broward County include:
- Truancy Diversion Program — The Truancy Diversion Program is for alleged offenders accused of failing to require their child or children to attend school;
- Misdemeanor Diversion Program (MDP) — The MDP is administered and supervised by Broward Sheriff’s Office and applies to many first-time offenders;
- Domestic Violence Misdemeanor Diversion Program — An eight-month program that requires participants to enter guilty pleas to criminal charges and complete a Batterer’s Intervention Program and other recommended treatment, but successful completion results in the plea being vacated and the case being nolle prossed (short for the nolle prosequi, the Latin phrase for “we shall no longer prosecute”); and
- Driving While License Suspended (DWLS) Program — Successful completion of this program results in criminal charges being changed from DWLS to the criminal charge of driving with no valid driver’s license.
The SAO for Broward County has a total of 12 different diversion programs located through the county. Depending on the case, the SAO may make a direct referral or participation may require collaboration with development of criteria, process, procedure, and continued oversight.
The Broward County SAO states that all youth who are referred to its office for filing review of a misdemeanor or non-violent third degree felony for the first time will be referred to a diversion program. Successful completion of a diversion program results in the criminal case being declined.
Three common juvenile diversion programs in Broward County include:
- Juvenile Drug Court — Alleged juvenile offenders charged with misdemeanor, non-violent third-degree felony, or second-degree felony offenses involving the purchase of a controlled substance can have their cases nolle prossed upon completing of the juvenile drug court program. The program also has a second track for youth identified as having substance abuse problems but not satisfying the aforementioned requirements.
- Civil Citation — Civil citations can be issued in lieu of arrest for certain misdemeanor offenses, and alleged juvenile offenders admit to the offenses and agree to participate in programs similar to and with services provided by the same agencies as diversion programs. Successful program completion results in the record of the incident being destroyed.
- PROMISE Program — The PROMISE program is an initiative designed to address the unique needs of students who have committed a behavioral infraction that would normally lead to a juvenile delinquency arrest and, therefore, entry into the juvenile justice system. If the student successfully participates in the school program of the PROMISE program, his or her case will be closed.
Diversion Programs | State Attorney — Visit this section of the State Attorney’s Office website to learn more about the diversion programs in Broward County. You can also find additional information about the Domestic Violence Misdemeanor Diversion program minimum eligibility requirements. The Office of the State Attorney has three satellite locations in addition to its main office at the following location:
Office of the State Attorney
201 Southeast 6th Street, Suite 655
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301
Broward Prevention | PROMISE — The PROMISE (Preventing Recidivism through Opportunities, Mentoring, Interventions, Support & Education) program is “an initiative designed to address the unique needs of students who have committed a behavioral infraction that would normally lead to a juvenile delinquency arrest and, therefore, entry into the juvenile justice system.” On this website, you can read about recent news and also access various PROMISE program documents. View a program manual, a Victim Rights Brochure, and the Eliminating the School-to-Prison Pipeline e-book.
Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) Diversity, Prevention & Intervention (DPI) Department
Lauderdale Manors Early Learning & Resource Center
1400 NW 14th Ct.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311
Find a Broward SAO Diversion Programs Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, FL
If you or your child was arrested in South Florida for the first time, it will be in your best interest to quickly retain legal counsel for help exploring your possible diversion program eligibility. Meltzer & Bell will work to get you the most favorable resolution to your case that carries the fewest possible penalties.
Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorneys Lawrence Meltzer and Steven Bell represent individuals in Wilton Manors, Miramar, Pembroke Pines, Plantation, Pompano Beach, Sunrise, Tamarac, Weston, and many surrounding areas of Broward County.
Call (954) 765-6585 or complete an online contact form to have our lawyers review your case and answer all of your legal questions during a free, confidential consultation.