Pretrial Diversion Programs Can Keep Your Life From Being Turned Upside Down

At Jacobs & Dow, LLC, in New Haven, our criminal defense lawyers focus on helping clients move through the justice system as quickly and painlessly as possible. One option available to many of our clients is a pretrial diversion program. If you qualify for a pretrial diversion program and successfully complete it, the charge will not appear on your record.

The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Jacobs & Dow have a thorough understanding of pretrial diversion programs and which ones are right for our clients.

A Second Chance For A Clean Record

The pretrial diversion programs recognize that, in many instances, those accused of certain crimes deserve a second chance (or, in some instances, a third or fourth chance). The goal of these programs is rehabilitation, not punishment. Successful participation in the programs generally results in the dismissal of charges and ultimately being permanently erased from your record. Following are descriptions of available programs.

  • Youthful offender program: To qualify, the offender must be 16 or 17 years old, not be charged with a Class A felony, have no previous felony convictions, no prior participation in the program and no prior participation in the Accelerated Rehabilitation Program. Upon successful completion, the records are erased at age 21. There is no fee.
  • Accelerated rehabilitation program: To qualify, the individual cannot have been charged with an A or B felony or certain other crimes, including family violence crimes or a motor vehicle crime that resulted in death. The individual cannot have been adjudicated as a youthful offender in the previous five years or have a prior conviction for DUI or driving under suspension. Under this program, the victim will have the right to appear. The court can place the applicant on probation for up to two years. After successful completion, the charges can be dropped and there will be no conviction record. There is a fee for the program.
  • Pretrial school prevention program: On the date of the offense, the applicant has to have been a student at a secondary school and charged with violence or the threatened use of violence on or near school property or at a school-sponsored activity. The applicant cannot have been convicted of a similar crime and cannot possess firearms, dangerous weapons or controlled substances. Upon successful program completion, the charges will be dismissed. There is a fee for the program.
  • Pretrial family violence education program: The applicant will have been charged with family violence, but cannot have a prior conviction for family violence or prior participation in the program. The court will determine eligibility, and the victim or victims can be heard. The individual will be released to the custody of the family violence intervention unit for a period not to exceed two years. Successful completion will result in dismissed charges. There is a fee for the program.
  • Drug education program: Those in this program have been charged with drug possession. The applicants agree to submit to conditions established by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, including participation in educational meetings and four days of community service. The program generally lasts for a year. Successful completion results in the dismissal of all charges. There is a fee for the program.
  • Community service labor program: This program is for those charged with drug possession. Those who participate will also be in the Drug Education Program. Successful completion of the program for those who have not previously participated results in a dismissal of the charges and erasure of records. A minimum of 14 days of community service labor is required for a first violation and 30 days of community service labor for a second violation, which involves a plea of guilty and conviction. There is a fee for the program.
  • Suspension of prosecution for drug-dependent or alcohol-dependent persons: This program is not limited to those facing drug charges, but it is for those found to be alcohol or drug dependent at the time of the crime (an A, B or C felony). The person cannot have been ordered twice previously treated. For up to two years, the applicant will be placed in the custody of the Court Services Division Retreatment and can be required to submit to periodic testing. The successful completion of the program can result in a dismissal of the charges. There is an administration fee.
  • Suspension of prosecution for those charged with the purchase, sale, delivery or transfer of pistol or revolver: The applicant cannot have a prior conviction or suspension of prosecution of the statute. If the court determines that the violation was not serious and is unlikely to be repeated, the prosecution can be suspended for up to two years. Successful completion will result in a dismissal of charges.

The Right Answer In Many Situations

Each pretrial diversion program has specific requirements that the applicant must agree to. Discuss the requirements with your criminal defense attorney and then decide. We will work with you to find the right solution.

Find Out If A Pretrial Diversion Program Is Available In Your Case

We welcome the opportunity to review the facts of your criminal case and help determine the legal options available to you. Call 203-772-3100 or use our online contact form to schedule a meeting. In addition to weekday office hours, we are open for client meetings on Saturday mornings and by appointment on Sundays, holidays and evenings.