Can I Get a Diversion Program in San Diego?

If you have been arrested and charged with a criminal offense in San Diego you are undoubtedly concerned about both the immediate outcome of your case and the long-term consequences if you are convicted. Depending on a number of factors, you could be eligible for one of the many diversion programs available in San Diego. If you are eligible, successfully completing a diversion program could be the best solution for you both now and in the future.

As you may already be aware, a criminal conviction often brings a number of negative, long-term consequences to the defendant. For many, the actual sentence imposed by the court is not the problem. Instead, the conviction itself leads to loss of employment, disqualification for future employment or housing, or even denial of visitation rights with minor children. All too often these consequences are far worse than the actual sentence handed down by the court. If you have been charged with a crime and there is a reasonable chance of acquittal, that is clearly an option worth pursuing; however, if an acquittal is unlikely you may wish to look into any diversion program options available to you.

The basic concept behind a diversion program in San Diego is to allow the accused the opportunity to make amends, so to speak, without a permanent conviction on his or her record. Typically, you are required to agree to court supervision for the duration of the program. You will also likely need to do things such as attend classes, complete a treatment program and/or perform community service work. Upon successful completion of the diversion program all of the charges against you will be dismissed by the State of California.

Being able to complete a diversion program in San Diego in lieu of prosecution is not a right a defendant has but it is an option that may be offered to you by the prosecution or negotiated between your attorney and the prosecutor. Diversion programs are usually only offered for less serious, non-violent offenses such as possession of small amounts of a controlled substance. Along with the nature of the charges against you, your own criminal history will impact your eligibility. Some programs require this to be your first offense. Others may allow previous arrests and/or convictions but a lengthy criminal history will usually cause a prosecutor to be disinclined to offer a diversion program to an offender.

If you have charges pending in San Diego and think you may be eligible for a diversion program option be sure to consult with your San Diego criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

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