What is the Pretrial Intervention Program?
The Pretrial Intervention Program is a program that takes defendants (first time offenders) and allows them the opportunity to serve the community by constructive and supervised service rather than undergoing the traditional criminal justice process. Instead of being prosecuted they can experience an alternative legal process, pursuant to 5 V.I. Code Ann. § 4612.  There is a Pretrial Intervention fee that must be paid by all participants in the amount of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) as well as the applicable Court Costs. 

The Legislature of the Virgin Islands has determined that the interest of protecting society and rehabilitating individuals charged with violating criminal laws can be best served by creating new and innovative alternatives for treatment and supervision within the community. In many cases it is found that society can best be served by diverting the accused into a voluntary community-oriented correctional program. Such reassignment can be accomplished in appropriate cases without losing the general deterrent effect of the criminal justice system. 

Further, in accordance with the statute, the Legislature finds that the retention of the deferred charges will serve both as a deterrent to committing further offenses and as an incentive to complete rehabilitative efforts. Alternatives to institutionalization which provide for the educational, vocational and social needs of the accused can equip him/her to lead a lawful and useful life. 

Who is Eligible to participate in the Pretrial Intervention Program?

Pursuant to 5 V.I. Code Ann. § 4612, which establishes the diversion of selected offenders, participation in the Pretrial Intervention Program is specifically limited to:

   Individuals who have not previously been convicted of a violation of any law of the Virgin Islands or of any other territory or state of the United States in any criminal court proceeding after having reached the age of seventeen (17) years; except for minor traffic violations for which no term of incarceration may have been imposed; 
  Individuals who do not have any outstanding warrants, continuances, appeals or criminal cases pending before any courts of the Territory or of any other territory or state of the United States;
Individuals who receive a commendation from a program of community supervision and services that they would, in light of the capacities of and guidelines governing it, benefit from participation in such a program.

Who is prohibited from participating in the Pretrial Intervention Program?

Individuals prohibited from participating in the Pretrial Intervention Program are any persons who have been charged with murder, kidnapping, assault in the first or second degree, rape in the first degree and arson in the first degree.