What is pre-trial diversion and is it something you should consider for your criminal case?

You are in court for your first appearance on a criminal misdemeanor. You are feeling anxious and concerned because at your first court appearance you may have heard that you could be facing jail time, fines, probation, etc. Certainly these are cause for concern.

If this is your first case in the criminal courts in St. Joseph County, Indiana you may be eligible for what is called pre-trial diversion. Pre-trial diversion is a program offered through the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office.  The program is a contract between you and the prosecutor’s office that the court accepts.

Typically, the agreement calls for a few things. First, you cannot be charged with any new criminal matters. Second, you have to pay a program fee. Sometimes, you may be required to complete community service and a possible substance abuse assessment.

Upon completion of the program, however, you get a dismissal of your criminal case.  No conviction is entered and it may even be possible to have the arrest record sealed. 

If you are facing criminal charges and need an attorney in South Bend, contact me today at 574-261-8770.

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