The Basic Principles Of A Diversion Program In Criminal Law
If you face a low-level criminal charge, you might want to talk to your criminal defense lawyer about a diversion program. Many courts and states offer diversion programs, but they do not offer them all the time. Instead, they only extend them sometimes. If you can get the court to agree to a diversion program, it can benefit you in many ways. Here are some of the basic principles of how diversion programs work.
It Gives Instructions
A diversion program is something that courts use in some cases to help offenders. A diversion program basically gives the offender instructions to follow. For example, the offender might have to go to drug or alcohol rehab, stay out of legal trouble, and pay some fines. If the offender follows these instructions, the court drops the charges.
It Lasts for a Stated Time Period
Another key principle of a diversion program is the stated time period it uses. The offender might have one year to complete all the steps listed, including staying out of legal trouble. Some diversion programs last only six months, while others might last longer. If the court agrees to a diversion program, you will basically be on probation during the stated time. You must follow all the rules and complete all the requirements during this stated time.
The Results and Consequences
When you complete a diversion program successfully, the court drops the criminal charges against you as though they never happened. If you do not complete the program successfully, the court drops the diversion program. The court then pursues the original criminal charges against you. If this occurs, you may have to go through a trial or work on a plea bargain. You will face consequences from the charges.
The court benefits from offering diversion programs by helping them save time and money. Offenders benefit from these programs by having a way out of the criminal charges. No one really benefits when a person accepts a diversion program but does not complete it successfully.
How Courts Decide
The last thing to know is that the court will only offer diversion programs in certain situations. First, the person must have a clean criminal record to get one. Secondly, the charges must be considered low-level charges.
Using a diversion program is beneficial to the court and to low-level offenders. If you are interested in learning more about these programs, talk to your criminal defense lawyer today.