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Criminal Law: Broward Misdemeanor Diversion Program

Broward's Misdemeanor Diversion Program (MDP) is a program run by the State Attorney's Office for misdemeanor charges. It is offered to first-time criminal offenders and, if successfully completed, your case would be "nolle prossed", or dismissed. 

You must have lawful immigration status in order to qualify. You may be eligible only if you have never been charged with anything before, including misdemeanor traffic offenses. In addition, not all offenses qualify for entry. Unlike West Palm Beach and Miami-Dade, Broward does not offer MDP for DUIs. Rarely will violent crimes, such as battery and assault, ever be allowed into the program. If considered by the prosecutor for entry, a "victim crime" must have the victim's consent prior to enrollment.

MDP acceptance must be made within 30 days after arraignment or a written plea of not guilty. You will be ineligible if discovery is demanded or if transferred from one of the satellite courthouses. In order to enroll, there is a $150 application fee that must be paid within 30 days of the initial application. It is a three-month program run by Probation and there is a $75 monthly fee while in the program. All monies paid toward the program are non-refundable and will not be retuned if kicked out of the program.

The program consists of monthly appointments with your assigned probation officer, community service hours, and a class associated with the crime (for example, a Shoplifter's Alternative class for a Petit Theft). You cannot pick up an additional offense during the pendency of the program or you will be kicked out.

There is a separate diversion program for Driving While License Suspended (DWLS) charges. During the three-month program, you are only required to obtain and maintain a valid driver's license and insurance coverage in order to be successful. However, your case will not be dismissed. It will be changed to No Valid Driver's License (NVDL), which will keep you from possibly having a five-year driver's license revocation.

            You may be eligible to have your case expunged after MDP (not after DWLS MDP).  It's important to understand that your misdemeanor charge will still show up on your record, but will show it was dismissed. It will continue to show on your record unless it's expunged. Contact our office for a free consultation and find out if you're eligible for the program and if it is the best decision for you. We can also help you with sealing or expungement.

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