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Anyone who is charged with a crime is entitled to a defense, and some, in Washington, D.C. and Maryland, have options such as diversion programs. These programs are designed to divert qualifying persons away from traditional court trials and sentencing procedures. If you are charged with an offense, it’s important to ask an experienced criminal defense attorney about your potential diversion eligibility.
Diversion programs are based on the idea that addressing the root causes of a defendant’s behavior can result in positive outcomes such as reduced chances of repetitive criminal behavior, and the defendant’s opportunity to become a productive member of society.
Different types of diversion eligibility programs are available, depending on the circumstances of each case. The most common type of diversion program involves rendering community service for a specified period or restitution to victims.
Diversion programs may also be available at various stages of the criminal justice process, both before and after an accused is charged with a crime.
Many diversion programs are aimed at treating offenders suffering from mental illness, alcohol and drug abuse, or co-occurring disorders. Others are available to those with limited criminal history. A satisfactory completion of the requirements of a diversion program can help a defendant avoid criminal conviction and sentencing, while having the opportunity to obtain gainful employment despite the previous charge.
Importance of Engaging a Criminal Defense Attorney
Applying for diversion eligibility involves a good working knowledge of the criminal justice system and experience in negotiating with government prosecutors for terms and conditions of a diversion program that best responds to the situation of the accused.
Some programs require entering a plea of guilty first while others may avoid arraignment altogether. But this does not mean that you should immediately make an admission of guilt once you are charged.
It is important that you speak to your criminal defense attorney before making any statements or entering a plea of guilty, regardless of the crime you are charged with. Your attorney will examine the charges against you, weigh the prosecution’s evidence, determine all defenses that are available in your case, and negotiate with the government for diversion eligibility if applicable.
At Lotze & Mosley, LLP, our criminal defense attorneys in Washington, D.C., and Maryland has tried more than 100 criminal cases and have for years obtained favorable results for clients. We aggressively investigate every case that we handle, weigh the evidence, raise all possible defenses, negotiate for diversion eligibility or reduced charges, and pursue cases to trial with positive results.
We invite you to call our offices today at (202) 393-0535 to speak to an attorney about your situation.