Should I take MIP (Misdemeanor Intervention)?
Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Pasco counties offer diversion programs for first-time offenders. The Pretrial Intervention Program is available for most third degree felony charges, while the Misdemeanor Intervention Program or MIP is offered to misdemeanor first-time offenders.
Requirements for MIPThere are three ways to have criminal charges dismissed: (1) a not guilty verdict after trial; (2) a nolle prosequi (i.e. the state attorney decides not to prosecute the case); or (3) a dismissal after completing a diversion program. Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Pasco counties offer diversion programs for first-time offenders. The Pretrial Intervention Program is available for most third degree felony charges, while the Misdemeanor Intervention Program or MIP is offered to misdemeanor first-time offenders. The MIP requirements vary by offense but will generally involve taking a class, paying fines, and completing community service hours and supervision. MIP generally takes six (6) months, but may be submitted for early termination after ninety (90) days upon completion of all conditions of the agreement. Once the program is completed, the State Attorney will drop the case. This allows the defendant to avoid a conviction and a potentially damaging criminal record. For many, this program is the best option. There are, however, some things about MIP most people are not told before enrolling. Requirements First, to start the process, you must complete and submit an application and wait for a representative of the Salvation Army to contact you to schedule a meeting. The terms and conditions are discussed at this meeting.
Supervision Outline and CostSecond, once accepted into the program, you will have to agree to supervision which requires you to: Keep the Misdemeanor Intervention Program Supervisor advised of your current address, place of employment, and/or educational institution (where you also grant the supervisor permission to visit); Be completely law abiding during the term of this Agreement; and Submit to any psychological, drug, alcohol or any other examination or evaluation ordered. Additionally, various special conditions may be imposed for certain offenses such as possession of marijuana (drug evaluation), or battery (anger management). Third, you will also incur costs while going through the program. Common costs are: application fee - $20 cost of prosecution fee - $50 cost of investigation - $75 donation to the Victims' Assistance Fund - $75 cost of investigation - $70 and cost of supervision - approximately $350