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What Is Pre-Trial Diversion? Am I Eligible?

Golburgh Law May 30, 2017

Many jurisdictions offer pre-trial diversion programs that are designed to help first-offenders charged with non-violent crimes rehabilitate and avoid a criminal record. These programs are administered by the State Attorney's Office who is the prosecuting authority in each jurisdiction. The program works like this: Rather than prosecuting your case through the court system, the prosecutor will keep your case 'in-house.' This means he or she will invite you into the program and require you to comply with certain obligations.

For example, you will typically have to write a letter accepting full responsibility for your crime, perform a certain amount of community service hours, pay the program fee, submit to random drug testing, make restitution to victims, pay the cost of supervision by the department of corrections/probation, and stay out of trouble while in the program. It's much like being on probation, but way better. Each jurisdiction will have different rules and obligations, but the premise is the same.

If you successfully satisfy the terms of the program, the prosecutor will drop your charges at the end of the term. What makes this program so great is that once you've successfully completed it, you will be eligible to seal or expunge your arrest record. Click here for more information about Broward's pre-trial diversion program.