What is pretrial intervention?
PTI, or pretrial intervention, is a diversionary program that can be offered to first-time offenders, or any person who has not been previously convicted of more than one nonviolent misdemeanor, and who is charged with any misdemeanor or felony of the third degree. The judge, the state attorney, and the victim must consent to PTI for an offender to be eligible.
PTI is similar to probation in that a person placed on PTI will be supervised by a PTI officer (a probation officer who supervises PTI), will have to complete certain conditions to be successful, and must not violate the law. PTI is different from probation because, if you successfully complete the program, your criminal charges will be dismissed by the prosecutor. Also, if you fail to complete the program, you will return to court to face the original charges and have the same options as someone who never entered the program in the first place. In other words, you would have the right to go to trial or you may enter a different agreement with the state to resolve your case.
Sometimes, the prosecutor will insist on a condition of PTI that requires the offender to admit guilt for the crime charged. If the charges are ultimately dismissed, this requirement is not problematic (unless you are facing a civil lawsuit or have a pending immigration case). However, if you fail to complete the program, this admission could be used against you should you decide to go to trial.
For more information about Pretrial Intervention, check out Florida Statute, Section 948.08.