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Criminal Law Blog

What to Expect If You’re Sentenced to Diversion

April 6, 2018

If are charged with certain crimes in Arizona, you may have the option of diversion instead of completing a sentence. Successful completion of diversion could result in your charges being dismissed, but it’s very important that you work with a lawyer throughout the entire legal process, so you don’t inadvertently violate the terms of the diversion or agree to something you don’t understand. If your lawyer has recommended that you considering diversion for your case, here is what you need to know.

What is diversion?
Diversion involves the use of counseling instead of legal fines and sentences to resolve a case. Certain charges, including domestic violence, shoplifting, drugs, and minors in consumption, could be adjudicated using diversion. Note that not everyone charged with these crimes will be eligible for diversion. The nature of the crime, whether there was a weapon involved, and whether the defendant has previously taken part in diversion all factor into the decision.

What happens when I’m on diversion?
During the diversion process, you will need to attend counseling as specified by the court. The court may stipulate where you need to go for counseling, or you may be allowed to pick your own program. You may also be required to check in with the court at specified intervals during the diversion process, and you may be required to stay within a certain jurisdiction while you are completing the program requirements. There are many variables involved in successfully completing diversion, so work with your attorney to make sure you understand them all.

Will my charges be on my record after diversion?
Generally, charges will be dismissed after diversion, but a record of your arrest may still show up on background checks. In some instances, you may be required to plead guilty before entering diversion. If this happens in your case, you will have to answer “yes” on job applications that ask if you have ever pled guilty to a crime, even if the charges are ultimately dismissed.

Diversion is a good solution for some people, but you should never enter into any plea without the assistance of an attorney. If you’re facing charges, let Janet Altschuler, attorney at law, help you make the right choice for you case. Call our law office in Tucson today at (520) 247-1789.

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