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 and Intervention 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 diversion or intervention should 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: 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.
Pre-Trial Diversion: 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 programs results in the charges initiated against a person being dismissed.
Eligibility Criteria for Diversion Programs
Ohio Law offers the opportunity for diversion 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 any of these programs 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 Diversion Programs
If a person successfully completes their 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 or violates the terms of the program, then he or she will still end up facing charges.
Requirements for Successful Completion
Successfully completing a 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.