Metro Atlanta Pre-Trial Diversion Program
Representing from Offices in Atlanta, Kennesaw, and Marietta
At The Dickerson Firm – DUI and Drug Defense Attorneys, clients can expect honest and empathetic legal support. Representing clients throughout Atlanta, Kennesaw, and Marietta, our attorneys understand that those they work with are weathering a rough time in the face of unfair or wrongful criminal accusations. The firm will put their former prosecution experience to use for their clients.
Contact The Dickerson Firm – DUI and Drug Defense Attorneys by calling (678) 487-5728 or filling out a contact form here to schedule your free initial consultation!
What Is Pre-Trial Diversion?
Georgia’s pre-trial diversion program allows first time offenders of certain offenses to complete specific requirements like attend counseling sessions or take life skill classes to prepare them for post-conviction life, particularly to try and help offenders not to repeat the same offense.
Common conditions of the program include:
- a program fee ($300-$1,000, depending on the offense);
- community service;
- attendance at a personal development seminar;
- alcohol awareness course; or
- an Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction course.
Some courses can be completed online while others may be run by the court or a private organization. The offender may also need to submit to a professional evaluation, treatment, counseling, or abstinence from drugs and alcohol during the program. The requirements in each case depend on the original offense and are designed to both punish and educate the individual to prevent them from committing the same or similar offense in the future.
After an individual successfully completes a pre-trial diversion program, the judge will sign a dismissal order in their case. The charges against the individual will thus be dismissed and eligible for expungement from their criminal record. After successful completion of the program, no conviction will be entered in the case and the person can state that they have never been convicted of that offense.
Be aware that if a person does not complete the requirements of the program or are charged with committing a new offense while in the program, they may be disqualified from pre-trial diversion and will face prosecution of the original charges along with any other consequences. A failed drug or alcohol test during the program may also remove an individual from participation.
Who Is Eligible for Pre-Trial Diversion?
First-time offenders who have not been arrested before or been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony can apply for a diversion program. Some jurisdictions might allow people to participate even though they were arrested but were never convicted. A minor traffic offense will generally not disqualify an individual from a diversion program.
Another eligibility requirement for a pre-trial diversion program is that a person must not have already participated in any other program before or have any other pending charges. The prosecuting attorney for the program will consider the nature of the offense, the individual's prior arrest record, and the response of the alleged victim. Some examples of crimes that qualify for the program include:
- misdemeanor possession of marijuana,
- minor in possession of alcohol,
- theft by shoplifting.
How to Apply for Pre-Trial Diversion
Those seeking to apply for the program should consult an experienced attorney for legal representation, especially as the prosecutor decides whether pretrial diversion is an appropriate option in an offender’s situation based on an application that the offender will fill out. The Dickerson Firm – DUI and Drug Defense Attorneys can effectively work with the prosecution to evaluate their clients' eligibility.
If the case is accepted for a diversion program, then the individual will meet with a diversion coordinator who will monitor them throughout the program to make sure they complete their requirements and comply with the rules. The program is generally 3.5 months, depending on the charges, and the individual will likely have to report monthly unless instructed otherwise by the Pre-trial Diversion Coordinator.
Seek Experienced Legal Counsel in Your Case
Participating in a pre-trial diversion program is an ideal alternative to the conventional criminal sentencing, as successful completion of the program could expunge the conviction from an individual’s criminal record. Most first-offenders qualify for the program, and a good lawyer can help you apply for participation in the program. The drug crime attorneys at The Dickerson Firm – DUI and Drug Defense Attorneys can assess your situation and negotiate your eligibility for pre-trial diversion.
Take your first step toward the second chance you deserve. Contact The Dickerson Firm – DUI and Drug Defense Attorneysat (678) 487-5728 or online here to schedule your free consultation today.