WHAT IS A PRETRIAL DIVERSION?
If you are arrested for possession of drugs, or for a DUI, a pretrial diversion may be for you. By the definition of the Office of the United States Attorneys, pretrial diversion (PTD) “is an alternative to prosecution which seeks to divert certain offenders from traditional criminal justice procession into a program of supervision and services administered by the U.S. Probation Service.” Pre-trial diversion benefits both the public and the offender.
If you have no prior criminal record, instead of facing charges you can volunteer to enter the pre-trial diversion program. In the majority of cases, offenders are diverted at the pre-charge state. However, a person is only eligible for this program one time, and if the person does not fulfill the full contract for the program as signed with the prosecutor, they go back to court and face the original charges. If the person successfully completes the program, then the charges are dropped. Additionally, pretrial diversion offers a chance to clear the charge from your arrest record.
ARE YOU ELIGIBLE FOR A PRETRIAL DIVERSION?
In order to be eligible for the program you must:
- Be a first-time offender
- Admit guilt
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Agree, in writing, to the conditions of the pretrial diversion program established by the district attorney.
- Not have committed an offense involving burglary, sale of drugs, or any other charge excluded in the Pre-trial Diversion law, Act 706, Section 7, Regular Session of the Alabama Legislature, 1978.
- Agree, in writing, to pay within a specific period of time any extraordinary investigative expenses as determined by the district attorney.
- Agree to pay applicable court costs and attorney feels before finishing the program.
ADMITTANCE INTO THE PROGRAM IS BASED ON:
- The offender being 18 years of age or older (with exception of traffic citations which is 16 years of age or older)
- A probability that justice will be served if placed into the program
- The needs of the State and offender can be met through the program
- The offender poses no threat to the safety and well-being of the community
- It appears the offender will not likely be involved in further criminal activity.
- The offender will most likely respond to rehabilitative treatment
The District Attorney may waive any of the standards specified if just or special circumstances dictate.
Pretrial diversion offers offenders a second chance and gives them a path to recovery. It is a very effective alternative leading to less subsequent arrests and can help with addiction recovery in cases where it is necessary. It also benefits the public by reducing the size of court dockets and supervises the accused from the time they enter the program until the time it is completed.
If you choose to go through the pretrial diversion program, it is essential to have all the paperwork done correctly and in a timely manner. Reid Law Firm can help make sure that you meet all the paperwork requirementS in order to maximize your chances of getting accepted into the program.
Have a legal question or need to schedule an appointment?