If you’ve been arrested and charged with a crime in Indiana, your attorney may have mentioned the possibility of “pretrial diversion.” But what does that mean? Does your lawyer stand in front of the judge, point, and yell, “Hey, Your Honor! What’s that, over there?” while you run the other way?
Of course not. Let’s find out what pretrial diversion means and, more importantly, whether you might be eligible.
A Quick Definition of Pretrial Diversion
“Diversion,” in this case, isn’t diverting the judge from evaluating your crime in a trial. It’s diverting you from incarceration, recidivism, a life of crime driven by substance abuse, and even becoming institutionalized. So in that sense, it’s a very good thing!
Essentially, a pretrial diversion is an agreement between the prosecutor and the defendant. The prosecutor agrees to drop all criminal charges against the defendant if they complete certain conditions.
What are those conditions? It’ll depend on the nature of the crime, but usually, it means doing community service, paying restitution, or undergoing treatment of some kind meant to prevent future crimes. For example, someone charged with battery might complete anger management classes. Or a drug offender could attend an educational program about substance abuse or go to rehab.
Another condition of the pretrial diversion program will be avoiding criminal charges for a set period. (Ideally, forever!)
Eligibility for Pretrial Diversion Agreements
Diversion agreements help to reduce strain on the Indiana court and penal systems. They can also mean a second chance for people who make a dumb mistake and don’t deserve to spend serious time behind bars for it.
Wondering if you might be eligible for an agreement like this? Most prosecutors’ offices will look favorably upon defendants if:
- They have no prior criminal record
- Their crime was non-violent
- The crime was a “victimless” one
- They are a productive member of their community
Your attorney will understand what the prosecutor is looking for in candidates. They can help you highlight your positive qualities and put your best foot forward when pursuing pretrial diversion.
It’s Worth a Shot!
As you might imagine, a good criminal attorney will almost always suggest this possibility of pretrial diversion to the prosecutor if it hasn’t already been raised—and if you might be a good candidate.
When you contact Razumich & Associates, be sure to let us know the entire circumstances of your situation—including whether this is your first offense and what the nature of your crime is. That will help us determine if pretrial diversion might be right for you. Call us at 317-983-5333.