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Criminal Law Blog

Understanding Diversion Programs

May 21, 2021

In an effort to allow people accused of some types of crimes to avoid prosecution, Arizona law provides for diversion programs. Diversion programs are typically reserved for first-time offenders, and they can play an important part in your criminal defense strategy. Your defense attorney will help you decide if a diversion program could be an option for your case, depending on the nature of your charges and the details of the case against you. Here is what you need to know about how diversion programs work. 

What exactly is a diversion program?

If you enter a diversion program, the state will stop the prosecuting your case to allow you to complete certain tasks. These typically involve attending classes related to your charges, but there may be other program components as well. If you satisfy the requirements of the diversion program and avoid other arrests during the diversion period, the state will usually drop the charges against you. The benefit of diversion programs to people who are charged with crimes is that they can conclude their case with a clear record. 

Who can participate?

Diversion programs are typically reserved for people facing charges for non-violent crimes like shoplifting, minor in consumption, and some types of drug offenses. Usually, only people facing their first offense can be considered for diversion programs. The length of the diversion depends on the type of offense. Additionally, all participants are interviewed by a state representative who also considers those interview answers when setting a timeline for the diversion program. 

Is a diversion program right for my case?

It is essential to work closely with your criminal defense attorney on all aspects of your case, including whether a diversion program is the right solution. Your attorney may suggest that a diversion is the best outcome or that your charges could be dismissed without diversion. Each case is different, so follow your attorney’s advice. 

When you need reliable criminal defense in Tucson, choose Janet Altschuler. Ms. Altschuler has been on both sides in the courtroom and uses her knowledge to provide high-quality criminal defense to all her clients. When you need a defense lawyer, call (520) 247-1789.

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