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What To Know About Diversion Programs In Florida

What to Know About Diversion Programs in Florida March 3 2024

Do you know what diversion programs are? A diversion program can help you avoid jail time and a criminal record. You may also be able to get your charges dismissed or reduced. In this post, we’ll discuss how they work and if you’re eligible for a diversion program.

What is a Diversion Program and How Does it Work?

When you are arrested and charged with a crime, you typically have two options: go to trial or enter a plea bargain. If you choose to go to trial, the court will hear your case and either find you guilty or not guilty. If you plead guilty, you will be convicted and sentenced accordingly.

However, there is a third option available in some cases, and that is to participate in a diversion program. Diversion programs are designed to allow first-time offenders the opportunity to avoid a conviction and sentence by completing a period of probation and meeting other requirements.

If you successfully complete a diversion program, your charges will be dismissed, and you will not have a criminal record.

Who is Eligible for a Diversion Program, and What are the Requirements?

Diversion programs are available to first-time offenders who have been charged with certain non-violent crimes. In order to be eligible for a diversion program, the offender must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a first-time offender
  • Be charged with a non-violent crime
  • Have no prior convictions
  • Have no pending charges
  • Not be on probation or parole
  • Be a resident of Florida
  • Be willing to complete the program requirements

If the offender meets all of the above requirements, they may be eligible for a diversion program. However, qualification is done on a case-by-case basis, so there is no guarantee that you will be accepted.

Diversion programs vary in length and requirements but typically involve the completion of community service hours, drug counseling, and/or anger management classes.

How Do You Apply for a Diversion Program, and What Happens After the Application?

If you meet the qualifications and are accepted into a diversion program, you will be required to complete all of the requirements. Once those have been fulfilled, your court case will be dismissed, and you will not have a criminal record.

The application process for a diversion program is similar to applying for an expungement. You must complete a form and submit it along with any required documentation (such as proof of residency). The judge will review your application and decide whether or not you meet all the requirements. If so, they will issue an order approving your participation in the diversion program.

You can apply for a diversion program through your local probation office or the state’s website. When you fill out an application, you will need to provide certain information about yourself and your crime.

If you are not eligible for diversion or do not complete the program requirements, you will be required to stand trial. If you are convicted of the crime, you may be sentenced to jail time.

What are the Benefits of Participating in a Diversion Program?

There are many benefits to participating in a diversion program. These include:

1. Avoiding a criminal record: If you successfully complete the diversion program, your charges will be dropped, and you will not have a criminal record. This is critical, as a criminal record can limit your employment and housing options and make it difficult to get loans or insurance.

2. Access to counseling and support services: During the diversion program, you will have access to counseling and other support services. These services can help you address the issues that led to your criminal charges and provide you with the tools you need to turn your life around.

3. A chance to prove yourself: Diversion programs give you a chance to show that you are capable of change. If you successfully complete the program, it will demonstrate that you have taken responsibility for your actions and are capable of change.

4. Savings on court costs: Participating in a diversion program will save you money on court costs. These costs can add up and can be a financial burden for many people.

5. A shorter sentence: If you are convicted of a crime, you will likely face a longer sentence than if you had participated in the diversion program. In some cases, your sentence may be reduced by up to 50%.

6. The ability to move on with your life: Participating in a diversion program will allow you to put your criminal charges behind you and move on with your life. You will be able to focus on your future rather than dwelling on your past.

How a Lawyer Can Help With Diversion Programs

Diversion programs are designed to help people who have been accused of crimes avoid the consequences of a conviction. While there are many forms of diversion programs, some are more effective than others. The key to choosing a good diversion program is identifying your needs and understanding what you can accomplish with that program.

A lawyer can help you evaluate whether a particular diversion program is right for you and help negotiate the terms of your participation in that program. They can also assist with other court-related matters such as probation, community service, fines, or restitution payments, if applicable, which may be required as part of the successful completion of the diversion program.

If you are a first-time offender considering a pretrial diversion program, you should consult with an attorney. They can help you understand the consequences of completing or not completing your diversion program.

Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney Today

Participating in a diversion program may be the best option if you are facing criminal charges and are a first-time offender. The benefits are significant and can help you avoid a criminal record and turn your life around.

If you’re interested in exploring this option, it’s important that you speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer can help you understand the process and determine whether it’s right for you.

Our experienced criminal defense attorneys at Hanlon Law can evaluate your case and advise you on whether you may be eligible for a diversion program. We will work tirelessly to help get you the best possible result in your case.

Call us today to schedule a free consultation.

Hanlon Law
600 Cleveland St #1100
Clearwater, FL 33755
(727) 897-5413
https://www.criminalattorneyclearwater.net

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Attorney Will Hanlon
Attorney Will Hanlonhttps://www.criminalattorneytampa.net/
As a native Floridian and criminal defense attorney, my family history in Tampa spans generations. Since being admitted to The Florida Bar almost 20 years ago, I founded Hanlon Law and have gained extensive legal experience in criminal courtrooms in and around Tampa and throughout Florida.

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