If you are a first time offender and are facing a non-violent criminal charge, you could be eligible for a diversion program. Diversion programs exist to help people who have made a mistake turn a corner for the better. These programs are designed to change the behavior that led to the charge without causing undue hardship like a criminal record or jail time. Here’s more about these programs and how they can help you.
What Are Diversion Programs?
Diversion programs, also called pre-trial interventions, are a way for prosecutors to take your case out of the normal court system. If you qualify and it is approved by the state, you will complete a period of probation, usually some community service, and potentially counseling or substance abuse treatment as indicated by the crime you committed. In return, your case will never go to court, you will face no jail time, and you can apply to have your record expunged in most cases.
It is entirely your responsibility to meet the conditions of your diversion. It is important that you follow all of the guidelines set forth for you by the probation officer, who will go over the terms of the agreement. If you commit any additional crimes or violate the terms in any way, your case will go back to court, and you will be facing the same penalties that you originally faced.
How They Help
For first time offenders, diversion programs can help keep people out of the criminal justice system. Not only does this help you with your future career and lifestyle due to not having a criminal record, the diversion program, if done correctly, can greatly benefit you in other ways. You may learn a valuable lesson and get some other benefits from counseling or treatment.
If you are facing criminal charges and you are a first time, nonviolent offender, contact us today for more information about how we might be able to help you.