Is My Case Eligible for Diversion?
Getting a pretrial diversion may be the answer to stopping the prosecution of your case. You won’t find a better Atlanta first-offense legal representation than the Waltman Firm.
Pretrial Diversion Programs
A pretrial diversion program can help you avoid penalties, including jail time and a criminal record. You also get to avoid the costs associated with a possibly lengthy court process. However, not all cases are eligible for pretrial diversion programs.
The state legislature creates diversion programs, so it differs from one state to another. Sometimes, it also differs from court to court. However, there seems to be a general requirement for eligible defendants across states.
First-time offenders of minor and non-violent criminal charges such as petty theft, certain drug possessions, and driving under the influence may qualify for diversion programs in many states. Some assaults with minor or no injuries also qualify in some states.
You might have to find criminal defense lawyers to know if your case qualifies for a diversion program within your state. A skilled first-offense attorney from The Waltman Firm can find alternative sentencing options for first-time offenders in the criminal justice system.
How Do Pretrial Diversion Programs Work?
The program is designed for low-risk, low-need offenders who have committed crimes involving family violence or offenses that did not seriously injure their victims.
Diversion programs focus on restitution to the victim and the rehabilitation of the defendants. The program is usually tailored towards the criminal charge. Generally, the state or county office coordinating probation programs administer and run the diversion program.
The program’s objectives include ensuring that compensation is given to the victims of these crimes while also offering alternatives to the offenders.
In place of traditional prosecution, participants get an individualized program of supervision that may include counseling, treatment, education, drug testing, community service, and working with a mentor for a specific duration. Administrative charges and reparations may also be necessary as part of the program.
What Are the Requirements for Pretrial Diversion Programs?
Are you facing criminal charges and wondering if you could get into a diversion program?
Pretrial diversion program acceptance is often dependent on taking into account the following factors:
- The nature of the crime committed
- The offender’s history of past arrests
- Response of the victim to the defendant’s request for diversion
Applicants wanting to qualify for a Georgia pretrial diversion are required to fulfill the requirements listed below. The district attorney and diversion coordinator may take any deviation into consideration if necessary.
The participants should:
- Be at least 17 years old.
- Apply for a pretrial diversion to the diversion coordinator voluntarily.
- Be willing to follow instructions about drug testing. In order to verify their identification, they need to also have a government-issued ID or book-in information.
- Renounce or waive certain statutory and constitutional rights.
- Be prepared to fulfill all financial responsibilities, including a $200 administrative fee, drug testing costs, and victim reparations.
- Consent to being monitored for a certain period, which is decided following a case review.
- Complete alcohol, drug, and mental health evaluations and bear all costs related to them.
- Do their community service at an authorized nonprofit organization.
The circumstances surrounding the offender’s arrest and behavior must all point to the possibility that they are susceptible to change and unlikely to commit the same crime again. With an experienced defense attorney, you can divert your trial and avoid being charged with a crime.
What Happens After Completing Your Diversion Program?
In Georgia, an offender’s case and a criminal conviction may be dismissed if they successfully complete a pretrial diversion program. The offender has the option to request record limitation of their arrest in addition to asking to have their criminal conviction not reported.
In simple terms, the initial charges are dropped, and no conviction is recorded if the pretrial diversion program’s conditions are satisfactorily met. The charges can also be eligible for expungement if the prosecutor concurs. The expungement process cannot be started automatically; the offender must submit an application.
Every time a person is detained in Georgia for a crime, the Georgia Crime Information Centre (GCIC) receives their information, which is then added to their criminal history file. Offenders may be able to get any public information about their offense removed by appealing for a record restriction. Any earlier detentions and accusations will still be available to law enforcement.
What Happens if You Don’t Complete a Diversion Program?
If an individual enters a GA pretrial diversion program but doesn’t finish it, serious repercussions will occur. They will be subject to prosecution based on their initial charge once again.
If the accused is arrested while enrolled in a pretrial diversion program or fails any exams, they will no longer be eligible for the program and will be prosecuted.
Do Diversion Programs Work?
These programs focus on the behavior modification and treatment of the offenders instead of a punitive measure that only works briefly. These programs help offenders unlikely to commit criminal offenses again avoid a criminal conviction, reducing recidivism.
Many diversion programs have recorded success in helping offenders. Your defense attorney can provide legal help to get you into one of the diversion programs suitable for your case.
How Long Does a Diversion Program Last?
The duration of a diversion program differs. It can range from six months to a year. The defendant might have to attend classes, participate in therapy sessions, and do community service work. Other programs might include having to make restitution to the victim.
Speak to a Criminal Defense Attorney
Have you been battling misdemeanor charges or any other kind of criminal charge? Are you considering getting into a diversion program in Georgia? You would need the help of a criminal defense lawyer who is familiar with the state and municipal court system.
Our experienced lawyers know how the courts work in Georgia. You can schedule a consultation to learn more about how we can try to ensure the criminal justice system works in your favor. Let us build a strong defense for you today!
Contact The Waltman Firm to schedule a consultation today!