law gavel judge brown white background pretrial intervention pti

Pretrial Intervention – FAQ – South Carolina

What is Pretrial Intervention (PTI)? 

PTI is an alternative to the typical trial process. Instead of pleading guilty or not guilty, a defendant can be put into PTI. This program allows the defendant to complete alternative rehabilitation and restitution programs through a district attorney mandated format. The pretrial intervention program is not run by the state, or federal government, it is administered independently by each judicial circuit based on state guidelines set in law. PTI’s are meant as a “second-chance” for first-time offenders, and taking the PTI instead of going to trial could be a better option in many cases. 

Each circuit administers its own PTI. This means there could be variations depending on the location the crime is being prosecuted. Most PTI programs feature a variety of alternative programs like counseling, community service, restitution programs, and educational/vocational education. 

Typically programs can be expected to run anywhere from a few months to a year. Participants can also be expected to pass drug tests and attend to their necessary requirements.

How much does Pretrial Intervention (PTI) Cost?

Pretrial intervention programs have set costs. The total cost is around $650. This program’s fees are set by statutes of the state and the program is entirely self-funding. If a judge and director of the district’s PTI accept a defendant into the program then that person must pay the necessary fees of the program. There is a $100 application fee. A $250 program fee. After completion of the program, the defendant can then file an expungement request. This request destroys all records of the charges of which they participated in the PTI. This request costs $285 in total. $250 of which is for the request and $35 for processing. One of the benefits of accepting a PTI program as an alternative to a trial is the fact that it can be less costly. 

Is there Pretrial Intervention in Claredon, Sumter, Florence, or Charleston Counties? 

Florence and Marion Counties are in the 12th Judicial Circuit of South Carolina, meaning that the district administers their programs for defendants charged in that county. Claredon and Sumter counties are in the 3rd judicial circuit. For more information on Claredon and Sumter’s PTI program click here. Charleston County is part of the 9th judicial circuit and their PTI information can be found here.

Should I contact an attorney?

It is highly encouraged to contact an attorney if you are dealing with legal issues, like a criminal charge. Having a skillful criminal defense attorney with trial experience is crucial to a fair outcome and to build your case. Even if you qualify for PTI, discretion is left for the judge and possibly the prosecutor, so having an attorney arguing for you could be the difference-maker between going to trial. If you have been charged with a criminal offense and believe you have the right to a PTI program contact our offices today. Click here or call us at 803-433-5368.