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.