Diversion Programs

Diversion programs offer some individuals who are charged with crimes the opportunity to avoid prosecution. These programs vary significantly depending on the defendant’s county of residence. Diversion programs are often reserved for minor offenses, while in some cases they are available for those facing felony charges. Anyone charged with a criminal offense who is interested in the possibility of a diversion program should not hesitate to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help determine if one of these programs is a good fit.

Two Types of Diversion Programs

There are two types of diversion programs in Ohio, which include the following:

  • Intervention in Lieu of Conviction: These programs allow a drug offender to complete treatment and three years of community supervision rather than being convicted. While many individuals who face drug charges in Ohio are eligible for these programs, not all of them are. Sometimes, individuals who commit an offense while acting under the influence of alcohol or drugs are deemed eligible for these programs.
  • Pre-Trial Diversion: These programs are offered to a person who is charged with a crime so that he or she can avoid the penalties assigned by a court. Becoming eligible for pre-trial diversion results in the charges initiated against a person being dismissed.

The Eligibility Criteria for a Diversion Program

Ohio Law offers the opportunity for diversion programs if the prosecution believes that the person who is being charged is unlikely to commit another offense. Some of the common offenses that qualify for diversion programs include passing bad checks, consuming alcohol as a minor, and theft. Enrollment in a diversion program is often prohibited for dangerous offenders, people accused of threatening serious physical harm to another person, people accused of violent offenses, and repeat offenders. While these eligibility criteria are often how diversion programs operate, it is still a wise idea to discuss matters with an experienced criminal defense attorney if you have questions about your eligibility.

The Benefits of Completing a Diversion Program

If a person successfully completes a diversion program, a trial court will dismiss the charges against the individual based on the prosecution’s recommendations. It should be noted, however, that if a person either refuses to participate in a diversion program or violates the terms of the program, then he or she will still end up facing charges.

Requirements to Successfully Complete a Diversion

Successfully completing a diversion program requires a person to fulfill various program requirements. The exact requirements can vary significantly between programs but most often tend to include classes aimed at avoiding these offenses in the future, payment of program fees, restitution to victims, and submitting to drug tests.

Speak with an Experienced Attorney

If you are facing certain types of criminal charges, you are likely eligible for one of the state’s diversion programs. Contact the law firm of Kruger & Hodges today to learn more about how our criminal defense attorneys can help.