As a criminal defense attorney in Plantation, I represent a large number of undergraduate and graduate students from Nova Southeastern University arrested for criminal offenses ranging from possession of a controlled substance (i.e. marijuana or cocaine), driving while under the influence (DUI), criminal mischief, underage drinking, disorderly conduct and theft. Nova Southeastern University is located within 2 miles of our office.
In a majority of the cases, this is a student’s first encounter with the criminal justice system – the student (and his/her parents) is concerned that this one indiscretion will jeopardize their future employment. The attorneys at Lyons, Snyder & Collin have only one objective when representing undergraduate and graduate students from Nova Southeastern University: to have all criminal charges dismissed (and eventually expunged) so that the student is not penalized in future endeavors (i.e. seeking employment, renting an apartment, etc.).
In Broward County, the State Attorney’s Office offers two “diversionary” programs – Misdemeanor Diversion Program (“MDP”) and Felony Pre-Trial Intervention (“PTI”) – for eligible first-time offenders. Upon completion of the diversionary programs, the State Attorney’s Office announces a “nolle prosequi” (“dismissal”) of the charges.
Application for MDP and PTI can be a minefield – you do not want to go about it alone. When applying for MDP and PTI, you will be giving up a number of rights that you will want to discuss with an experienced attorney. Certain time-restrictions apply. Additionally, eligibility requirements can sometimes be challenging. MDP is six (6) months of supervision. PTI is one (1) year of supervision.
A third option, “drug court”, is also eligible for individuals arrested for certain drug-related crimes. Felony drug court is a yearlong program with three phases of treatment. Upon completion of drug court, the State Attorney’s Office will also announce a “nolle prosequi” (“dismissal”) of the charges. Some felony drug charges (primarily possession of less than .5 gram of cocaine) are eligible for PTI instead of drug court. PTI has less onerous restrictions than drug court. Misdemeanor drug court (i.e. possession of marijuana”) ranges from three (3) months – six (6) months depending on the type of program.
In the event your charges are dismissed, you may be eligible to have your charges expunged (i.e. deleted from public view). Lyons, Snyder & Collin handles dozens of expungements per year, many of which are of college and graduate students. Once a charge is expunged, you can legally deny having any criminal record – or even being arrested.
Don’t let one mistake run the rest of your life; hire an experienced criminal defense attorney from Lyons, Snyder & Collin who is familiar with diversionary programs in Broward County to ensure your criminal record is clean. If you are a student of Nova Southeastern University who was recently arrested, please call Philip Snyder at 954.462.8035 for a free consultation.