A Pre-trial Diversion Program Online(PDP) is a program usually offered at the discretion of the local County Prosecutor’s Office. It may be offered to criminal defendants without significant prior records who have been charged with certain offenses. The program requires defendants to complete specific sets of requirements, and upon completion the charges will be dismissed. Depending on circumstances of a case, in addition to paying court, clerk, program fees, defendants must meet additional obligations. Requirements range from varying degrees of alcohol and drug education to substance abuse evaluations and the resulting treatment or therapy. Often times defendants are still required to do community service, and pay restitution where appropriate but the reduction in sentence is a good reason to look into a Pre-trial Diverion Program Online. In many but not all counties Lionrock Recovery Outpatient Programs may qualify as an online Pretrial Diversion Program.
Usually Pretrial Diversion Program Online is limited to individuals who have committed certain misdemeanor offenses including (but not limited to) Illegal Consumption or Possession of an Alcoholic Beverage, Public Intoxication, and Possession of Marijuana may be considered for participation in the Pre-trial Diversion Program. Felonies or charges that involve operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated are not eligible for PDPO. Whatever the nature of the charges filed, eligibility for Pretrial Diversion Program Online is determined on a case-by-case basis by your County Prosecutor and not guaranteed.
How do I apply for Pretrial Diversion Program Online?
There is no application process for Pretrial Diversion Program Online. Arresting agencies such as police, sheriff or highway patrol forward reports from arrests and citation tickets to the County Prosecutor’s Office for charging. Prosecutor staff must examine each case report and the circumstances surrounding them to determine whether a defendant qualifies for PDPO. Defendants cannot apply for PDPO.
How much does Pretrial Diversion Program Online(PDPO) cost/What do I have to do for PDPO?
The costs and fees associated with PDP vary depending on the requirements a defendant must complete for the program. Requirements are determined based on the charges filed, circumstances of the case and the defendant’s prior criminal background.
What happens if I decline PDPO and go to court instead?
If a defendant does not participate in PDP, he/she will have an initial hearing, in which he/she appears before the Judge and enters a plea of either “guilty” or “not guilty.” If a defendant pleads “guilty”, then a conviction will be entered on his/her record and he/she will be sentenced accordingly. If a defendant pleads “not guilty,” then the case will be set for a pre-trial conference and a trial date; the defendant may be evaluated for a public defender (if one is requested) or may hire a private attorney, and the case will continue in court.
Lionrock Recovery is not located in my county. Can I still do Pretrial Diversion Program Online?
Most often, yes. It is not uncommon for PDP defendants to need to try and complete their PDP requirements outside of your County. PDP staff will try to assist defendants who are eligible and willing to do PDPO but would find it a hardship to return to the county after they have been offered PDP at their initial court date. It does, however, become chiefly the defendant’s responsibility to work out where and how he/she will complete the requirements, and he/she must verify with PDPO staff before completing requirements that everything is satisfactory.
Will PDPO keep this incident totally off of my record?
PDPO is designed to help a defendant keep a criminal conviction off his/her record with regard to the offense charged. If he/she successfully completes the program, the court record will show that the charge was dismissed. The benefit of PDPO is that there is no criminal conviction and the defendant does not plead guilty. When asked if he/she has ever been convicted of or plead guilty to a criminal offense, a defendant may answer “no” with regard to the charge in a successfully completed PDPO case. However, a record that an arrest occurred, or that the charge was filed in court, will not be expunged or erased. Police records of an arrest or citation are beyond the control of the Prosecutor’s Office. If a defendant is asked if he/she has ever been charged with a criminal offense, he/she must always answer “Yes.” Upon successful completion of the program, a defendant may specify that the charge was dismissed. In that case, when a background check is run the court record will show that an order of conditional dismissal was issued and the case was closed.
How is my privacy protected if I enter Lionrock’s program?
PDPO defendants are legally adults, which means that PDPO staff will not discuss any aspect of a criminal case with anyone except the defendant himself/herself or the defendant’s attorney of record in the case. Defendants are encouraged to talk with friends, family or an attorney to determine if he/she wants to go ahead with PDPO or go to court, but any and all questions must come from either the defendant or his/her attorney.