One of the first things I look at when I am retained to represent someone in a criminal case is whether they are eligible for what is referred to as a Diversion. This can mean different things in different jurisdictions, but what I am referring to is whether the criminal case can be taken out of the regular court that it is pending and for a favorable result or outcome.
When the terms Diversion is uses, there are 2 types: Diversionary Courts or Diversion Programs. In many courts around the country, including Florida, Special Diversion Courts have developed, and for good reason. Judges, prosecutors, court administrators, and other attached to the criminal justice system have come to realize that many individuals can benefit from these courts’ services, and at the same type the person has accountability and reduces the risk of recidivism. Examples of some of the Diversionary Courts are Drug Court, DUI Court, Teen Court (juvenile program), and Veteran’s Court. I have had clients over the years participate and complete these Court programs, and the client has benefitted, not only with getting the help he/she needed, but also the charge or charges were significantly reduced or in some cases, dropped/dismissed.
The second type of diversion is what are referred to as Deferred Prosecution Agreements, which is basically a contract between the prosecutor’s office and the client, and upon the client’s successful completion of the terms of the agreement, the case is dropped/dismissed.
If you have been charged with a crime and would like to discuss your case and determine if you may qualify for a diversion program, please give us a call at 386-257-1222. Speak with a Board Certified Criminal Trial Attorney- our initial consultations are free.