A criminal diversion program is an option that is available to some individuals in adult and juvenile criminal cases. The purpose of these programs is to help individuals, who often have no prior criminal record, to avoid criminal charges and a criminal record. These programs seek to establish sentencing alternatives, sanctioning alternatives for revocations, and reduce recidivism among offenders.
Pre-trial diversion programs, which also are referred to as deferred prosecution and pre-trial intervention programs in some jurisdictions, are voluntary programs that halt criminal prosecutions from proceeding to a conviction. If participants successfully complete the conditions of their diversion programs, the state will dismiss their criminal charges.
Not everyone qualifies for diversion programs. Different jurisdictions in Texas have established different guidelines for participant eligibility. For example, some programs might require that participants have no previous arrests, be either employed or enrolled in school, and refrain from further criminal activity during the program. Individuals also may have to avoid using illegal drugs and report on a monthly basis to a probation officer. It is also common to require that individuals take responsibility for their actions by admitting guilt to the offense with which they are charged.
Diversion programs may contain various conditions and requirements that are tailored to an individual’s specific needs. The individuals may have to undergo monitoring by the probation officer, complete community service hours, attend counseling, and complete substance abuse assessments and education courses, if applicable. Individuals also may be responsible for certain costs, such as a monthly monitoring or program fee. If the offense involved financial losses to an individual or business, then the individuals may be required to pay restitution.
The Peek & Toland criminal defense lawyers are here to represent your interests and advise you of the best course of action in your situation. Set up an appointment to talk to us today and discover how we can assist you with your criminal matter.