If you are facing criminal charges, it is common to be concerned about the social stigma and repercussions that a criminal conviction could have on your future. Fortunately, there are a number of options available to avoid having a criminal conviction on your permanent record. One of the most attractive options is referred to as “pre-trial diversion,” which helps some individuals avoid the criminal system through participation in a strictly monitored program. The following will outline some basic considerations when developing your defense strategy with your criminal defense attorney, and how the diversion program might apply.
Understanding the Pre-Trial Diversion Process
The option of pre-trial diversion is available for only some types of criminal offenses. Diversion refers to when a court allows an individual to undergo alternative sentencing operations to avoid the penalties associated with a criminal conviction. The goal is the rehabilitation of the person who committed the offense instead of punishment. Some of the options that are often required through pre-trial diversion programs include community service, substance abuse counseling, and fines. In addition, the courts are able to avoid the expense of judicial resources by providing an alternative to a criminal trial.
Eligibility for Pre-Trial Diversion Programs
A defendant must meet certain requirements to be classified as eligible for participation in a pre-trial diversion program. He or she must be a first-time offender who is charged with a less serious offense like a misdemeanor. These programs are more common for juvenile criminal offenders because courts view these programs as helping juveniles keep their records clean and protect their future opportunities for success. Instead of being granted automatically, a defendant must request to participate in a pre-trial diversion program. In most cases, a judge will inform a person charged with an offense whether pre-trial diversion is an available option.
How Attorneys Can Help
Pretrial diversion has the potential to be beneficial for a person who is charged with a crime, but qualifying for these programs is often difficult. Fortunately, an experienced criminal lawyer can help increase the chances that you qualify for the program and answer any questions that you might have about the process.
Speak with an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you are facing criminal charges, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced attorney at the Federal Criminal Law Center. It is important to act quickly because diversion is often not available after the arraignment process has occurred. Our attorneys have helped numerous people navigate pre-trial diversion and we remain committed to making sure that your case resolves in the best possible manner. Contact our law office today to schedule a free initial consultation.