Thousands of college students have come and gone over the past few weeks, and the raging party known as spring break Myrtle Beach isn’t over yet.
Most of these kids leave Myrtle Beach and go back to school with memories they will cherish forever. Unfortunately, some of them will have one spring break memory that eclipses all the rest – being handcuffed and taken to jail.
What are Common Criminal Charges During Spring Break
When large groups of college students get together and party at the beach, fun is not the only inevitable result. There will also be accidents, injuries, and an increase in arrests for minor offenses like:
- Disorderly conduct;
- Breach of peace;
- Minor in possession of alcohol;
- Simple possession of marijuana; and
- Public intoxication.
Don’t let minor offenses ruin your criminal record, your reputation, or your financial aid for school – if you are a first-time offender, a Myrtle Beach criminal defense lawyer can help you to maximize your chance of having these charges dismissed and expunged.
What is Pre-Trial Intervention in SC?
Because they are young, most revelers arrested in Myrtle Beach during spring break are first-time offenders. This means they are often eligible for South Carolina’s pre-trial intervention program (PTI) – if they are not charged with DUI or a major violent crime.
PTI can be an incredible opportunity for college kids – it means your youthful arrest won’t follow you around for the rest of your life.
If you complete PTI, your charges will be dismissed, and your record expunged. There will be no risk of jail time or of carrying around a criminal record.
Are There Other Pre-Trial Diversion Programs in SC?
There are other programs that are available for first-time offenders, including:
- The Alcohol Education Program (AEP): for first-time offenders with minor alcohol-related charges like minor in possession of alcohol or public intoxication;
- The Traffic Education Program (TEP): “Traffic school” – allows minor traffic offenses to be dismissed and expunged; and
- Conditional Discharges: For first-time offenders with minor drug charges like simple possession of marijuana.
When Should I Use a SC Pre-Trial Diversion Program?
If you’ve been arrested and charged with a minor offense that may be eligible for pretrial diversion, call your SC criminal defense lawyer immediately.
Although pretrial diversion is useful, and it can keep an arrest off your criminal record, you should not agree to the program until your attorney has looked at your case, gotten the evidence in your case, and decided whether your case can be dismissed or won at trial.
In cases where you face a substantial risk of conviction, pretrial diversion is a lifesaver that will keep your record clean. On the other hand, if there is insufficient evidence to prosecute or some other reason that your case is likely to be dismissed, you may not want to do 60 hours of community service, attend counseling, and report to the PTI office for nothing…
Myrtle Beach Spring Break Criminal Defense Lawyers in SC
If you or a family member was arrested during Spring Break, get a Myrtle Beach criminal defense attorney on the case quickly – in most cases, a first-time offender with minor charges can avoid a conviction whether it is through an outright dismissal, an acquittal at trial, or completion of a pretrial diversion program.
Call Coastal Law now at (843) 488-5000 or fill out our online form to find out how we can help.