Depending on the jurisdiction and the nature of the charges, the prosecutor might offer you a pre-trial diversion program. If you agree to the program, you most likely will have submit to several conditions including paying restitution or participating in an alcohol or drug program. Upon successful completion of the diversion program, your record will be expunged and the charge will be dismissed. A Walnut Creek criminal lawyer can assist you with this process. The purpose of pre-trial diversion is to give individuals who are charged with a first-time, non-violent offense a chance to avoid a criminal record. Prosecutors and judges like diversion programs because they free up the court for more serious cases and defendants like them because the charges might be dismissed.
Should You Fight to Save Yourself From a More Serious Charge?
As a Walnut Creek criminal lawyer will explain, a pre-trial diversion can be a good way to preserve your record. However, you can only qualify for diversion one time. It may be worth considering the possibility of future charges. For instance, a person who may be at risk for future charges, such as a frequent political protester or an individual with a drug or alcohol dependency, may decide to fight the current case in order to save the diversion for a future, more serious charge.
Should You Accept a Pre-Trial Diversion or Plea Bargain?
A Walnut Creek criminal lawyer can review the circumstances in the case along with the charges and help you decide whether a pre-trial diversion is appropriate. In addition, a lawyer may negotiate with the prosecutor to create a diversion program that works for you. A Walnut Creek criminal attorney can offer legal advice and provide representation for you; however, it is up to you whether or not to accept an offer of a pre-trial diversion program or a plea bargain.