Pretrial Diversion

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What is it?

  • It is a program that allows people to do certain classes, pay certain fees, and do certain numbers of community services hours in exchange for your case being dismissed.

How it works?

  • First, your lawyer analyzes your case and determines whether your case qualifies for pretrial diversion.
  • Second, your lawyer negotiates with the state attorney’s office to see if the State is willing to make a referral to the diversion program.
  • Third, the state makes an official offer to do the pretrial program, which the client accepts or rejects.
  • Fourth, the client informally accepts pretrial diversion, the case is either taken off the court docket or set for a later status date.
  • Fifth, the client receives paperwork in the mail directing them to go to a certain contract signing at a specific time.
  • Sixth, the client shows up at the time specified and signs a contract.
  • Seventh, once all of the pretrial diversion paperwork is signed, the case is officially abated, awaiting the completion of pretrial diversion.
  • Eighth, the client completes all of the conditions required for the program.
  • Ninth, the diversion program verifies that all of the conditions have been satisfies and notifies the State Attorney’s Office.
  • Tenth, and lastly, the State attorney receives word of successful completion and dismisses the criminal charges.


  • The obvious benefit to doing diversion is having your case dismissed.
  • Additional benefits include the potential for lesser responsibilities during the course of the pretrial diversion completion.
  • Also, successful completion assures that you will not do jail time; whereas a guilty plea can result in jail and/or probation.
  • Lastly, diversion can often be completed more quickly than going through a few years of probation.

Is it guaranteed?

  • No, it’s not guaranteed.
  • The Referral must be made by the State Attorney’s Office.
  • The egregiousness of the circumstances will often play a role on your acceptance into the program.
  • Additionally, there are certain enumerated offenses, as well as enumerated circumstances where pretrial diversion is not allowed.
  • Note: an experienced lawyer will often increase your chances of getting into a pretrial diversion program, or in the alternative, a pretrial intervention program.