First Time Offender
A lot of our clients are first time offenders, and we greatly appreciate the opportunity to represent these people and be their guide to getting their lives back on track. Whether you are a college student who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, or simply someone who made a mistake we want to help. Regardless of how careful or conservative you may be, good people often find themselves in difficult situations. It is our goal to help you get through this difficult time as painless and as quickly as possible. When you call Grooms and Thomas you will be able to schedule a free and confidential consult with one of our attorneys, we want your business and we plan to earn your trust.
For any offender our goal is to get your charge dismissed, but even if that is not an option there may be another avenue to having your case resolved without a lasting conviction being levied against your permanent criminal record. Below I have listed a few potential diversion programs that may be applicable to your case.
Pretrial Intervention – or “PTI” is a great program that accepts clients upon a referral from the State, often times after negotiations are had with defense counsel. In this program you will be assigned a case agent who determines the steps that must be done in order to achieve a successful completion of the program. A few examples of required task would be community service, alcohol or drug related classes, counseling and in some cases where applicable there are random drug screenings. Assuming you complete the program and have no other arrest during that time your charge will be dismissed, and you will then be eligible for an expungement of the records related to your charge.
Conditional Discharge – a conditional discharge is essentially a guilty plea with a great caveat for the defendant. In South Carolina a defendant is eligible for a conditional discharge on certain drug offenses once in their lifetime. The defendant admits guilt, but the Judge allows them to complete either community service or drug test in order to have the charge dismissed and the guilty plea vacated after they successfully complete the court ordered requirements.
Traffic Education Program – or “TEP” is a driving offense related program that requires a short defensive driving class and minimal community service. Upon successful completion the driving offense you are charged with will be dismissed by the court.
Drug Court – This program is for defendants with addiction issues, whether it be narcotics or alcohol drug court is an intense diversion program that has a near zero tolerance policy when it comes to substance abuse. Defendants only enter this program on referral and acceptance by the State, the defendant pleads guilty and his or her sentence is held in abeyance upon the completion of the program. If a person successfully completes then the guilty plea is vacated and the charge is dismissed, but if a person is unsuccessful then the drug court officials may terminate their spot in the program and the sentence previously ordered by the court will be immediately instated. Drug Court is a great program that has changed many lives for the better, but it is only for serious participants who are ready to make a change in their lives.
There are other programs available depending on the charge and jurisdiction of the alleged offense, we would invite you to contact our office for a free and confidential consultation. We want your business and plan to earn your trust.