We all make mistakes, but sometimes those mistakes can land us in especially hot water. Maybe you didn’t intend to break the law, or you didn’t think it was so serious. Unfortunately, now you’ve been arrested, and you can expect this to show up on your record.
This puts you in a bad situation. A conviction can cause plenty of trouble for you, some of which can be long-lasting. You’ll need good defense attorneys on your side who can help you get a pretrial diversion and avoid serious charges that could haunt you for years after your conviction. If you’re a first-time offender, speak to your attorney about your options.
What is a Pretrial Diversion?
For those offending for the first time, a pretrial diversion can help you avoid some of the serious consequences that come with a conviction. This diversion allows you to waive certain rights to your trial. In exchange, you’ll complete a program that essentially rehabilitates the offender and shows that they won’t offend again.
For example, if you were arrested for possession of controlled substances, a pretrial diversion might focus on counseling, rehabilitation for drug abuse, and supervision over your progress. Once you’ve completed the program, you will have your charges dismissed, leaving you with a clean record.
Eligibility for a Pretrial Diversion
Keep in mind, before you ask your attorney, that you might not be eligible for a pretrial diversion. You’ll need to meet certain requirements, which includes your offense and whether you’re a first-time offender. If you were arrested for any of the following crimes, you won’t be eligible for pretrial diversion:
- Offenses involving the federal Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act
- Driving while intoxicated
Other elements may affect your chances of being approved for pretrial diversion. For example, violent crimes that indicate that you may be a danger to the community may bar you, even if it doesn’t fit in the above ineligible offenses. As such, you’ll need to speak to your lawyer about your options for pretrial diversion and if you’re eligible.
A Lawyer Can Help
Being arrested for the first time doesn’t just leave you concerned for your criminal record: it can be embarrassing, frustrating, and upsetting. Your first offense may be difficult to deal with, especially if you feel genuine remorse for your actions. Fortunately, pretrial diversion may be an option for you.
Start by speaking with your defense attorney about pretrial diversion and your case. They can review whether you’ll be eligible and whether it’s the best option for you. They can also help you get a pretrial diversion, so that your main concern can be getting through the program and getting your charges dismissed.
If you’re concerned about a first offense on your record, pretrial diversion can protect you from major consequences like jail time, a lost job, and many others. So, before your case goes to trial, talk to your lawyer about a diversion. It could protect your record.