Do you qualify for a pre-trial diversion program?

On Behalf of | Aug 12, 2022 | Criminal Law

If you committed a crime in Georgia, your path to recompence may not have to entail hefty fines and jail time. Moreover, you may be able to avoid receiving a conviction on your record thanks to the state’s pre-trial diversion program.

Georgia’s pre-trial diversion program is an alternative to traditional prosecution for low-risk and low-need offenders. The Cobb County Government website explains the eligibility criteria for the state’s pre-trial diversion program for your convenience.

Foremost eligibility criteria for the pre-trial diversion program

When determining whether you qualify for Georgia’s pre-trial diversion program, the courts will consider first and foremost the nature of your crime. You may only qualify for the program if the crime you committed did not result in serious injury to the victim and/or if the victim of your crime is a family or household member. The courts will also consider your prior criminal record, if you have one.

Secondary eligibility criteria

To qualify for Georgia’s pre-trial diversion program, you must meet additional criteria. Those criteria are as follows:

  • You must be at least 17 years of age and have voluntarily applied for the program following the advice of adequate legal counsel.
  • You must possess a government-issued identification or be able to confirm your identity and be willing to comply with drug screening directives.
  • You must be willing to pay all relevant financial obligations, including restitution to the victims, drug screening fees, a $200 administrative fee and reimbursement for attorney fees.
  • You must willingly waive certain constitutional and statutory rights.
  • You must agree to court-ordered supervision for a certain length of time.
  • You must undergo an alcohol, drug and mental health evaluation at your own expense and, if necessary, participate in a treatment or therapy program.
  • You must agree to complete the number of hours of community service the courts recommend.

Finally, the courts must be able to ascertain that you are unlikely to repeat your actions and, as importantly, that you are amenable to correction. Proving that you qualify for the deferment program given this criterion may prove difficult, which is why you may want to enlist the help of a qualified legal professional.

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