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Pretrial Diversion: Avoiding Federal Convictions for First Time Offenders

If you have been sentenced and convicted as a federal felon, you know it has lifelong impacts. It makes it difficult to secure employment, and living with the label of ‘ex-con’ for the rest of your life closes off many opportunities. However, for some eligible offenders, there is a way to avoid traditional prison sentencing and federal incarceration through pretrial diversion.

A pretrial diversion, also known as pretrial intervention, is a form of alternative sentencing. Its commonly used in juvenile cases, and first-time offenders of less serious crimes that are unlikely to commit again. This system allows them to have a second chance at life without the stigma of the label of a federal felon. Instead of spending time in prison, the diversion programs involve rehabilitation programs such as, but not limited to:

  • Community service
  • Counseling
  • Fines

How Pretrial Diversion Works

As the name says, this option is given to the defendant during the pretrial stages of a criminal case and must apply for through a request. However, there are some times when the judge and lawyer will inform the defendant when pretrial diversion may be an option.

If the defendant accepts the offer then he will enter a guilty plea to the criminal offense. But the judge will not enter an order of guilty in the case. This action will put the defendant in a state of limbo between pleading guilty and being convicted. The judge will then place the defendant under certain restrictions similar to probation or supervised release. If they are able to comply with all the terms and condition of their agreement then the charges are dismissed. However, if they fail to fulfill the agreements the case will return for prosecution.

Fulfilling the agreed upon terms means they can have another chance at life with a clean record. This program is a huge benefit to both the government and the defendant. It allows more speedy restitution for crimes committed, acts as a great deterrent for first-time offenders, and allows the federal prosecutors to concentrate on other high priority cases.

Getting Experienced Representation

If you aren’t sure if you qualify for a pretrial diversion or would like to know about more alternative sentencing options, contact us today. Jail Time Consulting can prepare a comprehensive report for your pretrial diversion to present to the court. Contact us today at 800-382-0868, or 954-740-2253.

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