Pretrial Diversion Programs May Be Your Second Chance

Many of those who are up against criminal charges assume they’re going to serve at least some jail time. As we discussed last month, just because you’re up against criminal charges, you’re not assuredly going to prison – and there’s a big difference between prison and jail. Depending on the severity of your charges, you may be eligible for pretrial diversion, a program that seeks to rehabilitate criminal offenders by incentivizing positive community action. If you’re accepted into the program and successfully complete it, your charges won’t ever hit your criminal record, and you won’t see any jail time. 

How Does Pretrial Diversion Work?

King County currently has several different pretrial diversion programs, each focused on addressing different charges. The AMP Diversion Program, for example, is specific to low-level misdemeanor charges. The goal of these programs is to give offenders a second chance to learn from their mistakes while giving them the resources they need to avoid making similar choices in the future. Pretrial diversion isn’t just a get-out-of-jail-free card; throughout the program, you must remain on good behavior and complete a series of community service and informational courses.

Requirements for Pretrial Diversion

Whether or not you’ll qualify for a pretrial diversion program depends on the charges and your own criminal record. Many first-time misdemeanor offenders will have a chance at pretrial diversion, but those with an existing criminal record or who are facing serious charges, especially those involving violence, will likely not receive the offer. 

You will likely be ordered to complete educational courses pertinent to your charges, as well as community service. For the entire duration of the program, you’ll also have to comply with certain restrictions. The court will likely have you regularly report to an officer who will check in on your progress, and conduct regular alcohol and drug screenings. You will still be required to pay court fees, and follow any other guidelines the court provides you. 

If you do choose to go the route of pretrial diversion, it is crucial that you follow these guidelines closely. Violating the conditions of your diversion program will mean that your trial picks up where it left off – and could result in steeper consequences as a result. To find out if you may be eligible for pretrial diversion, and for high quality representation to assist in your case, Contact our team today to schedule your consultation.

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Burke Brown Attorneys, PLLC

The first step of our approach here at Burke Brown Attorneys, PLLC? Listening to you explain your legal situation. Our attorneys have nearly 40 years of combined experience in successfully defending people against the most serious accusations.

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