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Frequently Asked Questions

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Misdemeanor and Traffic Misdemeanor

Pre-Trial Diversion

What are the benefits of pre-trial diversion?

Clients who are eligible for diversion have a plea of “not guilty” entered to the charge (s) and those who successfully complete the program are able to obtain a Nolle Prosse (a dismissal of charges) from the State Attorney’s Office.   Most diversion clients will then be able to seal or expunge their record.

How do I know if I am eligible for diversion?

If you have been arrested for a criminal or criminal traffic offense and want to know if you are eligible, you can report to an Advocate Office where your eligibility can be determined. If you have an attorney, please check with you attorney first.

Do I need a referral from the State Attorney’s Office or Court to enroll in diversion?

No you do not. If you are eligible, you can enroll. However, your participation in the program will still need to be approved by the State Attorney’s Office.

How do I enroll for diversion?

Just report to one of the three Advocate locations and complete the intake process. See below for questions about intake.

How do I know if I have been approved for the program?

The program will do all the paperwork, if you are not approved, 100% of any money paid will be refunded.

Is there a minimum payment to enroll?

No. You may be required to pay minimum fees to be enrolled for certain classes.

If I am enrolling on a criminal traffic case, like Driving While License Suspended, how does participating in diversion affect my license?

Diversion only takes care of the criminal part of your offense, meaning you are avoiding a guilty or no contest plea, a conviction and court costs. You will be provided with information and a referral to the Drive Legal Program in order to help you reinstate your license. Please see the Drive Legal FAQs for more information.



I was just placed on probation, what do I do?


Do I have to pay up front enroll for probation?

No. You will not be required to pay up front to complete your intake. You may be required to may minimum fees to be enrolled for certain classes.

How long do I have to be on probation?

Please refer to the term stated on your court order.

How much is probation?

At present, the fee is $55 per month. This only includes supervision of your court ordered conditions. This does not include any classes, DUI School, or treatment conditions that may be ordered by the Judge. Additionally, there will likely be court costs and other costs associated with your case.

Can I travel while I am on probation?

You do not need permission to travel within the tri-county area, Monroe through Broward County. Outside of those areas you will need to request permission to travel. Please put in your request early, as we may have to seek approval from the Court in certain cases before granting your request. Please keep in mind that all fees and conditions must be up to date in order for travel requests to be approved.



What will it be like?

You will be asked to fill out appropriate paperwork in order to begin the intake process. You will then be seen by a court specialist counselor who will guide you in the process of reporting, compliance with court orders and any other matter pertaining to your case.

How much time will my intake take?

How quickly you are served depends on how many clients are ahead of you. Generally, you should make time for about two hours to complete the process.

Do I need to report every month?

Please note that you will only need to report if you are on probation or if stipulated by the court order as a special condition. If you are unsure that you meet either of these criteria please contact our office or refer to your court order.

I have to do community services hours. Where can I do them?

Your counselor will provide you with a list of approved locations. You should not find one on your own without confirming with your counselor that the hours will be approved. Remember the faster you start the process the faster you can be connected with an organization and be on your way to completing your condition.

I was court ordered to attend classes. Which one do I need?

Depending on your court order your counselor will enroll you in the appropriate class. If you have not been enrolled in a class after completing an intake process and continue to be unsure about the need to complete a class, contact the office and speak to your counselor.

I missed one of my classes. What do I do?

Please call your counselor and inform him/her that you missed your class. Your counselor will inform you of the next available session. If you miss more than two classes your case may be sent back to Court for non-compliance, and a warrant may be issued for your arrest.

I have finished my classes. What do I need to do?

Once all your conditions have been met and you have served the required program term, a notice will be sent to Court informing them of your compliance. You can look up your case online at www.miami-dadeclerk.com, and check if the completion has already been recorded in the Court docket.



Can I pay over the internet or over the phone?

Internet payments will be available in the near future. Telephone payments are available by calling (305) 704-0174. However, you may also mail payments to:

Advocate Program, Inc.

1150 NW 72 Ave Suite 200

Miami, FL 33126

Acceptable forms of mail-in payments are personal check or money order. Please remember to include your case number when mailing in payments.

Can someone make a payment for me?

Yes, but they must have your case number available.

Can I pay my court cost through Advocate?

Yes, but only if your case is active and the Court has not sent your case to Collections. You may also make payments directly to the Clerk of Courts through the web: www.miami-dadeclerk.com. This will insure that your payment is immediately credited to your case. Payments made to Advocate may have a processing time of up to two weeks.

Can I pay my court ordered restitution and/or donation through Advocate Program?

Yes, any court ordered payments for restitution, donations, or investigative costs can be made through Advocate. Some payments may have a processing fee.



I need to have a substance abuse or mental health evaluation and treatment if necessary. Do you offer this?

Yes, the Program currently has Master Level Clinicians providing these services. The clinicians are well versed in working with probation, pretrial and community corrections agencies and understand the sensitivity of this matter. Please, contact the office at 305-468-4100 to schedule an appointment. Separate fees apply.

Do you offer chemical testing?

Yes, oral swabs and urinalysis are offered. While the cost varies depending on your needs, please contact 305-704- 0131 to obtain the latest pricing information.


Advocate Program DUI School

How can I enroll?

There are several options for enrollment.

  • First, you may enroll Online at www.advocateprogram.org and you will immediately receive your Proof of enrollment by email. This option includes a $2.50 convenience fee.
  • You can enroll in person at any of the Advocate office locations.
  • You can enroll by mail by calling and requesting a mail-in enrollment pack or by downloading the DUI Program forms for your County and mailing them back to the office. It’s that easy!
  • You can also enroll by telephone and get your registration receipt by email or fax.

You need to live, work or attend school in the county where you enroll in DUI School.

What is the difference between Level One and Level Two DUI School?

The Level One class is for persons who have never been convicted in any State of a charge that would require DUI school attendance and who have never attended a prior DUI program. A Level Two has either a prior conviction or school completion or has been specifically Court-ordered to complete Level Two.

What do I need to enroll?

You will need to bring a copy of the ticket you received at the time of the offense and some type of positive identification. The Program needs to document your Blood/Breath Alcohol Level or the fact that you refused to take the test. Also, you will need a copy of your probable cause / arrest report. This is available from the arresting agency or the Clerk of Court. If you have an attorney, they may have already obtained a copy that you can bring with you.

What if I am not convicted?

You may still have to complete the Program for the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles before they will reinstate your license. In any case, per DHSMV regulation, program fees are not refundable.

Can you clear me for a hardship license?

No. The DUI Programs are private or governmental agencies that are not part of DHSMV. But, DUI School enrollment or completion is required to receive reinstatement of your license. If you have not been convicted yet, you only need proof of enrollment. If the Court has convicted you, you need to prove completion of the classes.

How long does it take to finish DUI School?

Depending on your schedule, you can complete the entire process in only a couple of weeks. By Statute, you MUST complete the Evaluation and Education components within 90 days of the day you first enrolled. If you fail to complete or be actively involved in the Program by the end of 90 days, you will lose all fees paid to date and have to start over again.

When can I take classes?

Most of the classes take place on weekday evenings and on weekends. Once you sign up for a class, you have to attend that class from start to finish. You can reschedule classes up to five business days before the class. If you fail to attend class, there may be re-set fees. You will get full details about your class when you enroll.

How do I get a hardship license?

As of July 1, 2013 a person with a first time DUI arrest may choose to waive their hardship hearing within 10 days of arrest. This will allow them to obtain a hardship permit license immediately. Once you have completed your period of “hard time” suspension, you may be eligible for a business license for the rest of your suspension period. You will need to go to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles – Bureau of Administrative Review office at 7795 West Flagler, Miami, FL. 33126, (305) 265-3001. You cannot do this part at a driver license office. You can also call the DUI Programs office in Tallahassee at (850) 617-2505.

What is required to complete the Program?

Within 90 days of enrollment, you need to do the following:

1. Attend all assigned classes, on time and in sequence.

2. Abstain from alcohol or other non-prescribed drug use within 24 hours attendance at any program appointment or class.

3. Complete all assignments and all paperwork, including evaluation.

4. Pay all program fees.

5. If required, complete any substance abuse treatment condition.

What is the Ignition Interlock?

Section 316.193, Florida Statutes, requires ignition interlock devices to be installed on the vehicles of certain persons convicted of DUI. A first DUI conviction with a minor in the car or a blood alcohol level of .15 or more requires Ignition Interlock for at least six months. A second DUI conviction requires Ignition Interlock use for at least one year. A third DUI conviction requires Ignition Interlock use for two years or more.

The ignition interlock program affects those arrested and convicted of DUI after July 1, 2002, upon eligibility of reinstatement for a permanent or restricted driver license following their conviction of the DUI. The ignition interlock device is also required when a driver convicted of DUI applies for a restricted license for work or business purposes in the special supervision program (s. 322.271, F.S.).

If the person is otherwise eligible, a driver license will be issued with a “P” restriction indicating interlock device is required. The required time period for interlock officially begins on the day the “P” interlock restriction is issued.

What are the fees associated with Ignition Interlock violations?

Fees Charged are as follows:

• $25.00 – First Violation Appointment Fee.

• $55.00 – Second Violation Appointment Fee (Develop Case Management Plan).

• $25.00 – Monthly Fee for IID monitoring appointments scheduled after the initial appointment, to develop case management plan that are associated with a second violation.

• $55.00 – Third Violation Appointment Fee (Refer client to Treatment Provider). Additional fee of $5. If Driver Risk Inventory (DRI)/Risk Reduction Inventory (RRI) is older than 6 months.

• $55.00 – Subsequent Violation Appointment Fee if referred to treatment (violation after client completed treatment for the third violation.)

• $25.00 – Subsequent Violation Appointment Fee client already in treatment (client has not completed treatment for the third violation)

• $25.00 – Monthly Fee for IID monitoring appointments scheduled after the initial appointment, to refer client to a treatment provider that are associated with a third violation.


Traffic School

Does Advocate Program offer traffic school?

Four, 8, and 12 hour courses are offered. All of our courses are available online. Please click here for more information or to register.


Drive Legal Program

What does the Drive Legal Program do?

The Drive Legal Program can help you reinstate your Driver’s License, help you avoid paying fines to a collection agency, and help you get placed to perform community service hours.  Instead of paying fines Drive Legal can help you avoid points and avoid a conviction on your record, and help you avoid becoming a Habitual Traffic Offender and receiving a 5 year license suspension.

What do I have to do to enroll in Drive Legal?

If you are a diversion client, you can enroll in Drive Legal through Advocate. Just report to one of the offices and ask to see a counselor about enrolling.

If I'm in Traffic Diversion can I enroll in Drive Legal directly?

Yes, but be sure to show your Diversion paperwork to get a $25 discount on your Drive Legal fee. Click here to be directed to the Drive Legal website.

What is the Drive Legal fee?

For diversion clients the fee is $150, for non-diversion clients the fee is $175.

Is there a minimum payment to enroll?

Yes. In order to enroll you must pay a minimum of $75.

What will I have to do?

Generally, most clients will need to either pay their fines or have their fines converted to community service hours. Additionally, if you have points on your license you will have likely have to complete traffic school.

How will I know what my conditions are?

If you enroll through Advocate Program, you will be provided with your Drive Legal assignment. You may be asked to report in person. If you enroll through Drive Legal directly, you will be provided with your assignment form at the time of enrollment. You will then be asked to report back to Advocate Program and complete an intake for the completion of your conditions.

Will there be additional costs to complete these conditions?

Yes. Traffic school is an additional cost. You can complete this through Advocate, click here to register. If you are a Diversion client, the fee to supervise your community service hours and traffic school conditions will be waived, otherwise, the cost is $30.

How long do I have to complete the conditions?

You will have 90 days from the day you enroll in Drive Legal to complete all Drive Legal conditions. If you need an extension, Drive Legal will charge you an additional fee.

What will happen when I complete the conditions?

You will receive a completion letter which you must present to Drive Legal. At that time, you will be asked to pay any remaining balance on your Drive Legal fee. Once that is complete, and Drive Legal has verified your completion, you will be given a license Clearance Letter.


Bridging Families & Communities (BFC)

What services does BFC provide?

BFC provides home based wrap around services to children and their families. The family’s needs and strengths are assessed and developed into a comprehensive plan to help them meet their goals. The services offered include brief targeted mental health consultation and care coordination. The team works to address the issues in the home and connects families to resources in their community.

I was recently referred to the program, how long will it be before someone contacts me?

Once referred to BFC, staff will contact you within 5 business days. If staff cannot contact you with the phone number provided, a letter will be sent to the address provided.

How long will I be involved with the program?

Each family involved with BFC has different needs which will affect the length of time they are in the program. The length of time in the program generally ranges from 3 months to 6 months. It is really up to the families and their needs.

Is there a cost associated with the program?

All costs for BFC services are covered by the Children’s Trust. There may be a cost for other services that are provided by community services and partners.

Can anyone be a BFC client?

Generally, BFC only accepts families referred through the Court system. However, BFC has limited space for community referrals and self referrals. Please contact 305-704-0116 to find out if you are eligible for services through BFC.


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