Diversion Programs in Chandler
People charged with crimes are not necessarily hardened criminals. They might have underlying issues like substance abuse, chronic homelessness, untreated mental health conditions, or trauma that led them to involvement in criminal activity.
Traditional punishments like jail, fines, and probation do little to resolve these underlying problems, which could lead the convicted person to re-offend. Diversion programs take cases out of the criminal justice system, provide necessary services, and give people a chance to live their most productive lives. Prosecutors dismiss charges after the completion of some diversion programs.
Diversion programs in Chandler could provide the tools you need to live your best life. If you face criminal charges, contact the experienced attorneys at Grand Canyon Law Group to discuss your options for preserving your future.
Benefits of Diversion Programs
Diversion programs have many benefits. For the person charged with a crime, these programs offer the opportunity to get assistance with difficult issues that might have led to their arrest. The programs provide drug treatment, life skills counseling, GED assistance, and other services. Our Chandler attorneys could help identify a diversion program that meets an individual’s needs.
Avoiding a Criminal Record
Completing a diversion program also allows the participant to avoid a criminal record. If someone entered a diversion program before the prosecutor charged them, the prosecutor would formally decline to bring the charge upon program completion. If the prosecutor filed a charge before the participant enrolled in the program, the prosecutor would dismiss the charge upon completion. In either case, the crime that led to the program enrollment will not appear on a criminal background check. However, a prosecutor will go forward with the charge in most cases if the participant does not complete the diversion program.
Benefits for Prosecutors
Diversion programs are also good for prosecutors. They allow the County Attorney’s office to preserve its resources for prosecuting more serious cases. Over time, diversion programs can also reduce the number of repeat offenses and lower crime rates.
The Law Authorizes Counties to Offer Diversion Programs
Arizona law allows County Attorneys to develop diversion programs that meet the needs of the local population. County Attorneys are solely responsible for offering the opportunity to participate in a diversion program. In many cases, the Deputy County Attorney (DCA) prosecuting a crime may offer the defendant the opportunity to participate in a diversion program. The DCA usually consults with the alleged victim before offering the chance to participate in a program.
If the DCA does not suggest a diversion program, our experienced Chandler attorneys could request consideration. However, the County Attorney’s office could reject or fail to consider an application for any reason and need not provide their reasoning.
Before an accused person can enroll in a diversion program, they must admit their guilt in writing. They also must waive objections to the DCA using that document if they do not complete the program and the DCA prosecutes the charge. The seasoned lawyers at our Chandler office could advise on the risks and benefits of making this written admission to enter a diversion program.
Diversion Programs for Specific Populations in Chandler
Maricopa County has multiple diversion programs serving several populations and categories of eligible offenders. Some programs accept applicants with prior criminal convictions, but some do not. Most programs will not accept applicants that have participated in another diversion program within the past five years.
DUI Diversion Programs
Although there is no diversion program for drunk driving offenses, our local attorneys can sometimes arrange for suspension of part of the mandatory jail sentence in return for participation in alcohol rehabilitation.
Diversion Programs for Juveniles and Veterans
Specific programs exist for juvenile offenders, who may participate the first two times they are charged with a non-drug offense and for their first drug offense. Veterans may participate in a program that specifically addresses the psychological impact of the veteran’s service and problems reintegrating after service.
Diversion Programs for Parents
Parents charged with child endangerment related to opioid use could participate in a diversion program. Parents facing a first-offense child abuse charge that did not involve opioids could participate in a parenting skills diversion program.
Other Diversion Programs
The county offers specific diversion programs for people with a mental illness diagnosis or developmental disabilities. People charged with domestic violence or animal cruelty could participate in programs tailored to their particular charges. The legal team at Grand Canyon Law Group can help determine the right diversion programs for Chandler residents accused of crimes.
Consult a Chandler Attorney on the Right Diversion Program for You
If you face criminal charges, you should explore every option for resolving them. A diversion program could provide beneficial services and allow you to keep the current charge from staining your record.
Discuss diversion programs in Chandler with the knowledgeable attorneys at our firm. We believe you have a way of life worth fighting for, so call us today to learn how we can fight for you.