First Time Arrest? You May Qualify For Pretrial Diversion
Pretrial diversion programs are given as a means to divert harsher punishments if it’s your first time being arrested for an offense. There are some charges that may prevent you from qualifying for diversion.
How Do You Qualify For Pretrial Diversion?
Pretrial diversion programs fall under O.C.G.A. §15-18-80 and that gives prosecutors the power to make and manage pretrial intervention and diversion. A successful completion of such a program means your criminal record can be sealed from public record and the charge dismissed.
Qualifying depends on the nature of the crime, prior convictions if any and how the victim responds. Prosecutors are not allowed under Georgia law to accept any individual that has a charge that requires a minimum incarceration. There’s also a clause that allows for the victim to receive money as restitution.
What’s Next If I Qualify For Pretrial Diversion?
If it’s determined you qualify for pretrial diversion you will meet with a diversion supervisor that monitors your compliance to the rules. Usually there is a fee that does not exceed $300 and community service associated and sometimes required treatment if the charge relates to alcohol or drugs.
If you successfully finish the program your record can be sealed and the charge dismissed. Although the Georgia Crime Information Center has that information, you have a right to apply for that information to be restricted. But government agencies such as law enforcement and military will still be able to see any prior convictions permanently.
If you do not comply or get arrested for a new charge you will face full prosecution of the original charge.