If you were recently arrested for a nonviolent crime in Richmond, you’ll
be interested in learning about Virginia’s Pretrial Diversion Program
– a program that helps criminal defendants while saving the courts money.
The Pretrial Diversion Program was created to prevent defendants from developing
long-term, destructive behaviors that result in a pattern of criminal activity.
The program has proven to give offenders a second chance, while helping
them recognize their obligations to their victims, their community, their
family, and themselves.
Are you required to participate in Pretrial Diversion? No, it is not a
requirement; it is strictly a voluntary program for defendants charged
with misdemeanors or criminal violations. Why do people participate in
this program? Here is one good reason:
Once an offender completes the program, the court receives a recommendation
to “dismiss” their charges. If you are interested in participating
in the program, you’ll need to be approved by the district judge,
and you must have the consent of the county attorney.
For defendants, there are many benefits to completing the Pretrial Diversion
avoiding a criminal conviction. They also benefit from helping others and changing
their own lives through counseling, education, training, or treatment.
Are you eligible for the program?
To be eligible for the program, you must have been charged with a misdemeanor
or a criminal violation; you can’t be facing
felony charges. Examples of qualifying offenses, include:
- Public intoxication
- Criminal trespassing
- Disorderly conduct
- Possession of alcohol by a minor
- Alcohol intoxication
- No insurance
Criminal defendants who are
not eligible to participate in the Pretrial Diversion Program are those who
are being charged with
DUI or a felony.
Community Services and Resources
Individuals who participate in Pretrial Diversion have many community resources
available to them.
Those who take advantage of these services have a greater chance of avoiding
criminal behavior in the future. Some of these resources, include: alcohol
and drug abuse treatment, counseling, parenting classes, financial counseling,
GED programs, adult literacy programs, and volunteering for nonprofit
charities (community service).
Interested in learning more about avoiding a criminal conviction through
Contact Carlson & Collier to speak with a Richmond criminal defense attorney!