In Georgia, the Pretrial Diversion Program offers an alternative to prosecution for first time offenders facing a minor offense in the criminal justice system. The Program offers an advantage to those defendants by providing a chance to maintain a clean record.
After an individual has been accused or indicted for an offense, their attorney may file a petition to have the District Attorney evaluate their eligibility and accept their participation in the program. In order to be found eligible, the following is some of the criteria for entry into a Pretrial program:
- The victim’s response to the defendant’s petition.
- No prior criminal record.
- Offender must be at least 17 years old.
- Must waive right to: Grand Jury Indictment, a Speedy Trial, and Confidential Juvenile Records.
Participation in the program must be voluntary and must occur before any type of conviction is secured by the prosecution. Individuals with extensive juvenile and/or criminal records may not be eligible to participate in the Pretrial Diversion Program.
Once an individual is accepted into the program they no longer have to attend court hearings and are immediately subject to the supervised program for a required period of time. The participant must agree to terms which may include restitution, community service, and program involvement. Also, participants must agree to not be arrested or charged with any new offense while in the program. After successful completion of the Pretrial Diversion Program the charges will be dismissed or result in nolle prosequi, meaning no conviction of the crime is on the individual’s record and the individual can have the charge expunged from their record.
Participants who do not successfully complete the program return to the criminal justice system and are prosecuted for the crimes charged. The Pretrial Diversion Program is county specific so each has different requirements for eligibility as well as completion of the program.
If you or someone you know has recently been arrested and you need help in gaining entry into a Pretrial Diversion program please contact Attorney Joseph Lariscy. Please call us today or contact us online for your free consultation or give us a call (706) 389-4375