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How do you enter a pretrial diversion program?

If you've committed a crime that has prison or jail as a potential penalty, that doesn't necessarily mean you'll end up with that sentence. Many crimes now have a potential for diversion.

Pretrial diversion programs are beneficial because they help prevent black marks from being on your criminal record. They give you a chance to keep your freedoms in exchange for your time and effort toward recovery.

Pretrial division programs take you out of the traditional justice system and allow you to be supervised by the U.S. probation service. Most cases are diverted pretrial, which means that you may never have to go to a courtroom. If you complete the pretrial diversion program, it's possible that you can have the charges against you dismissed or reduced, depending on the case.

In the event that you violate probation or do not complete the program adequately, you can be charged through the traditional means. For that reason, it's a good idea to understand the pretrial division program well and to do your best to avoid making mistakes once you're involved.

How do you become eligible for pretrial diversion programs?

First, you'll need to meet a few requirements. You can't have more than two previous felony convictions, and you must not have been accused of an offense that could affect foreign affairs or national security. You can't be someone who works in the public as an official now or in the past and be accused of an offense that violates the public trust. Finally, you can't be accused of a crime that has to be diverted to the State.

If you meet these requirements, a pretrial diversion program might be right for you. Your attorney can help you seek out the program if so.

Source: The Offices of the United States Attorneys, "9-22.000 - Pretrial Diversion Program," accessed Dec. 08, 2017

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