2019 Florida Statutes
Prearrest diversion programs.
Prearrest diversion programs.
901.41 Prearrest diversion programs.—
(1) LEGISLATIVE INTENT.—The Legislature encourages local communities and public or private educational institutions to implement prearrest diversion programs that afford certain adults who fulfill specified intervention and community service obligations the opportunity to avoid an arrest record. The Legislature does not mandate that a particular prearrest diversion program for adults be adopted, but finds that the adoption of the model program provided in this section would allow certain adults to avoid an arrest record while ensuring that they receive appropriate services and fulfill their community service obligations. If a prearrest diversion program is implemented, the program is encouraged to share information with other prearrest diversion programs.
(2) MODEL PREARREST DIVERSION PROGRAM.—Local communities and public or private educational institutions may adopt a prearrest diversion program in which:
(a) Law enforcement officers, at their sole discretion, may issue a civil citation or similar prearrest diversion program notice to certain adults who commit a qualifying misdemeanor offense, as determined by the representatives that develop the program under subsection (3). A civil citation or similar prearrest diversion program notice may be issued if the adult who commits the offense:
1. Admits that he or she committed the offense or does not contest the offense; and
2. Has not previously been arrested and has not received an adult civil citation or similar prearrest diversion program notice, unless the terms of the local adult prearrest diversion program allow otherwise. The local adult prearrest diversion program shall establish a limit on the number of times an eligible adult may participate in the program.
(b) An adult who receives a civil citation or similar prearrest diversion program notice shall report for intake as required by the local prearrest diversion program and must be provided appropriate assessment, intervention, education, and behavioral health care services by the program. While in the local prearrest diversion program, the adult shall perform community service hours as specified by the program. The adult shall pay restitution due to the victim as a program requirement. If the adult does not successfully complete the prearrest diversion program, the law enforcement officer must determine if there is good cause to arrest the adult for the original misdemeanor offense and, if so, refer the case to the state attorney to determine whether prosecution is appropriate or, in the absence of a finding of good cause, allow the adult to continue in the program.
(3) PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT; IMPLEMENTATION; OPERATION.—
(a) Representatives of participating law enforcement agencies, a representative of the program services provider, the public defender, the state attorney, and the clerk of the circuit court shall create the prearrest diversion program and develop its policies and procedures, including, but not limited to, eligibility criteria, program implementation and operation, and the determination of the fee, if any, to be paid by adults participating in the program. In developing the program’s policies and procedures, which must include the designation of the misdemeanor offenses that qualify adults for participation in the program, the representatives must solicit input from other interested stakeholders. The program may be operated by an entity such as a law enforcement agency or a county or municipality, or other entity selected by the county or municipality.
(b) Upon intake of an adult participating in the prearrest diversion program, the program operator shall electronically provide the participant’s personal identifying information to the clerk of the circuit court for the county in which the program provides services. Such information is not a court record, and the clerk of the circuit court shall maintain the confidentiality of the participant’s personal identifying information as provided in 1subsection (5). The clerk of the circuit court shall maintain such information in a statewide database, which must provide a single point of access for all such statewide information. If the program imposes a participation fee, the clerk of the circuit court must receive a reasonable portion, to be determined by the stakeholders creating the program, for receipt and maintenance of the required information. The fee shall be deposited by the clerk of the circuit court into the fine and forfeiture fund established under s. 142.01.
(4) APPLICABILITY.—This section does not preempt a county or municipality from enacting noncriminal sanctions for a violation of an ordinance or other violation, and it does not preempt a county, a municipality, or a public or private educational institution from creating its own model for a prearrest diversion program for adults.
History.—s. 3, ch. 2018-127; s. 3, ch. 2019-53; s. 89, ch. 2019-167.
1Note.—Subsection (5) references eligibility for the program, not confidential information. Senate Bill 1394 and House Bill 1199, 2018 Regular Session, provided for amendment of s. 901.41 to add an exemption from public records requirements for the personal identifying information of program participants, but neither bill passed.