Orlando First Time Offenders
First time in trouble with the law? It is always a plus to not have a prior criminal history when you are being accused of breaking the law. Most people that come before the courts for the first time are there for very minor offenses. Sometimes people are even surprised that what they are being accused of is considered a criminal offense. Regardless, all accusations of criminal activity have to be taken seriously.
Pretrial Diversion and Pretrial Intervention
These programs are available to resolve cases for those people that qualify. Qualifications usually require that the defendant not have been found guilty of a prior offense (although there are some exceptions). These programs are run by the State Attorney's Office in conjunction with the Department of Corrections or County Corrections. In order for you to enter one of these programs the State Attorney's Office must offer it to you. It is not a court run program but these programs work closely with the court system. Successfully completing the requirements of pretrial diversion programs will result in the criminal charges brought against you being dropped.
Drug Court, Collection Court, and Probation
These are court ordered programs. Drug Court is an excellent program for those that have substance abuse problems. If you have committed a crime that was influenced by drugs or alcohol the Drug Court program can be a very beneficial program with which to get involved. However, you have to seriously want to end your abuse of the substances you use.
Collection Court (Orange County) is offered to those who have a lot of money to pay the court and very little money to give. This program has been very successful but it has been neglected by the court and a private collection agency has taken over delinquent accounts. If you are participating in Collection Court do not get behind in your payments. The private collection agency will add their fee to what you owe and will seek remedies through the civil court process.
Probation is a act of leniency by the court and is offered in lieu of a sentence. Take advantage of this whenever possible. However, you must understand that the original sentence that could have been imposed can be imposed if you are found to have violated your probation. This means Do Not Violate Your Probation. Violations are easier to prove and the entire sentence can then be imposed.
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