What Is The Pretrial Intervention Program?
Pretrial Intervention (PTI) was created by an act of the South Carolina General Assembly in 1980. It is an intervention program in which selected defendants may participate as an alternative to prosecution. Participants may receive educational and vocational referrals, individual and group counseling referrals, and referrals to other appropriate community agencies.
What Is The Purpose Of The PTI Program?
PTI is designed as an attempt to deter defendants from future criminal behavior; to minimize the loss to victims of these crimes through payment of restitution by the defendants; to serve the courts by reducing the number of less serious cases, thereby permitting more time for prosecution of more serious crimes; and to protect the community by supervising the accused following his/her acceptance into PTI until final disposition of the case.
Who Is Eligible For The PTI Program?
Any defendant seventeen (17) years of age or older, and charged with a crime, may apply to PTI. Application, however, does not guarantee acceptance. Acceptance is solely at the discretion of the Solicitor and is further determined by the nature of the offense, the recommendation of the arresting agency and any victim, and prior criminal history. Participation in PTI is strictly voluntary and the right not to participate is explained to all potential participants. No one who has previously participated in any Pretrial Intervention (PTI) program will be accepted. PTI is a one-time opportunity.
How Do You Apply To The PTI Program?
- The defendant must be referred by a Solicitor and/or Magistrate/Municipal Court.
- Upon receipt of the referral, the defendant will be sent a letter with the date, time, and location of his/her application appointment.
- The defendant must provide a picture ID and Social Security card.
- The defendant must provide a $100 application fee at the time of his/her application appointment. This application fee must be paid in the form of a Money Order or Certified Bank Check only and is non-refundable.
How Are PTI Participants Selected?
During the application process, the arresting agency and any victim(s) will be sent a recommendation letter regarding their views as to the defendant’s participation in PTI. A criminal history check is conducted to determine the defendant’s eligibility for the program. Once the application process is completed, the Director will meet with the Solicitor to discuss the case and determine the defendant’s eligibility. The defendant will be notified by mail as to the decision and given instructions on how to proceed.
What Happens In The PTI Program?
If it is determined that a defendant is eligible for PTI acceptance, the defendant will be sent a participation letter with the date, time, and location of the participation appointment. The defendant must pay a $250 participation fee. This fee must be paid in the form of a Money Order or Certified Bank Check only and is non-refundable.
Possible requirements of the Pretrial Intervention program (PTI) may include:
- Maintaining monthly contact.
- Attending counseling related to the charge(s) and random drug testing (additional cost).
- Completion of community service at a non-profit helping agency.
- Participation in the Alive at 25 program for those defendants between seventeen (17) and twenty-five (25) years of age who were charged with an alcohol and/or drug related offense(s) (additional cost).
- Law report.
- Employment/school documentation.
- Possible essays, apology, and appreciation letters.
- Forfeiture agreements.
- Restitution contract (victim cases).
- Any other requirements as directed by the Solicitor.
- Ninety (90) day minimum length of program participation.
A rearrest, violation of Pretrial Intervention (PTI) rules, or failure to complete any of the program requirements may result in unsuccessful termination from PTI and the case(s) being returned to court for prosecution.
All fees and restitution must be paid in full, and all requirements must be completed, in order to successfully complete PTI. Upon completion of all PTI requirements, a final criminal history check will be conducted.
What Are The Advantages To The PTI Program?
- Provides any victim(s) with the means to collect restitution.
- Offers the defendant an opportunity for self-development and awareness of the consequences of further criminal behavior.
- Provides the defendant an opportunity to avoid a criminal history as well as a possible fine and/or incarceration.
Why Are Fees Required To Participate In The PTI Program?
All defendants must pay fees according to the statutes that create PTI. PTI receives no tax money and is a self-supporting program. Currently, the total fee for PTI is $350. The application fee ($100) must be paid, in full, at the time of the application appointment. No application will be processed without full payment. If the defendant is determined to be eligible for acceptance into PTI, the participation fee ($250) is due at the participation appointment. All fees paid to PTI must be in the form of a Money Order or Certified Bank Check. Counseling fees are an additional cost and vary based on the counseling needs of each individual defendant.
What Happens Once PTI Is Completed?
Upon completion of all PTI requirements, a final criminal history check is conducted. If the criminal history check indicates no further criminal activity while in PTI, an expungement packet is mailed to the defendant. The defendant is then entitled to submit an Expungement Order to the court to destroy all records related to the charge(s). The South Carolina Supreme Court requires that a $35.00 filing fee be paid to the Clerk of Court as well as a $250 administrative fee to the Solicitor’s Office (Money Order or Certified Bank Check only).
Pretrial Intervention (PTI) Office Locations