What is a diversion program?

Pre-trial diversion programs are programs set up for persons accused of committing criminal offenses in order to give offenders an opportunity to avoid prosecution. These programs vary by county and are generally available for relatively minor offenses, although some programs may be available for felony charges. If you have been charged with a criminal offense, it is important to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney in order to determine whether a diversion program is available in your case.

What are the benefits of completing a diversion program?

If a person accused of a criminal offense successfully completes a diversion program, the trial court will dismiss the charges against the accused upon the recommendation of the prosecutor. A defendant who refuses to participate in a diversion program or who violates the conditions of the specific program may be prosecuted.

Who is eligible to participate in a diversion program?

Ohio law provides that a prosecuting attorney may establish pre-trial diversion programs for adults whom the prosecuting attorney believes are unlikely to offend again. These programs vary by county and are generally available for relatively minor offenses, although some programs may be available for felony accusations. Common offenses for which diversion programs are normally for non-violent offenses and are often available for such charges as passing bad checks, theft, and underage consumption of alcohol. While some diversion programs may be available for any person accused of a certain offense, only first-time offenders are eligible for program participation in other cases. Generally, participation in a diversion program instead of prosecution is unavailable to repeat or dangerous offenders, persons accused of violent offenses, and persons accused of threatening or intending serious physical harm to another person. Although these general categories of exclusions exist, it is important to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney to determine whether participation in a diversion program is an available option in a specific case.

What are the requirements of a diversion program?

Successful completion of a diversion program includes fulfilling various program requirements. These requirements vary between programs and may include payment of a program fee, education classes focused on preventing future offenses, restitution to victims, and submitting to supervision services such as drug testing.

Passing bad checks restitution program:

In some circumstances, writing checks with insufficient funds to cover those checks is a criminal offense subject to prosecution. Often, persons accused of the offense of passing bad checks (PBC) are offered the opportunity to avoid prosecution by meeting the guidelines of a restitution diversion program. These PBC diversion programs generally require the payment of all money owed to the victim, a program fee, and participation in a course designed to improve the personal financial skills of the accused person. Enrollment in this type of diversion program is not considered an admission of guilt to the crime of PBC and will not result in a criminal record. Instead, upon successful completion of the program, the PBC case will be dismissed.

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