A criminal charge can be a frightening prospect that carries significant consequences. You could be facing prison or jail time, hefty fines, and damage to your reputation and future opportunities with a criminal record. However, there may be options for you to avoid these penalties and protect your way of life, even in cases where you are guilty of the offenses charged, or if successful defense at trial is unlikely or risky.
Diversion programs in Mesa can help you avoid jail or prison and avoid a conviction on your permanent record in exchange for completing treatment, classes, and/or community service. Speak with a knowledgeable attorney at Grand Canyon Law Group to learn about your possible eligibility for one of these programs and the process to try to convince the prosecutor to allow it.
The primary goal of Mesa diversion programs is to address and treat the cause of the defendant’s behavior. These programs include counseling, education, and rehabilitation to help offenders become productive members of society. Rather than punishment, the focus is education and counseling to help people gain tools to make better choices in difficult situations. This benefits society more than throwing someone in jail with nothing learned.
Through a deferred sentence program, defendants learn there are consequences for their behavior, make restitutions, and gain the knowledge they need to prevent future offenses. Areas of treatment include but are not limited to:
Generally, the prosecutors only offer criminal diversion programs to defendants with first-time offenses. However, this is not always the case. Also, some prosecuting agencies to not offer it to those who have already completed one of the programs in the past. However, eligibility for diversion programs is largely at the prosecutor’s discretion or is dictated by the policy of the prosecutor’s office. And these offices vary in their policies. Most first-time misdemeanors and other non-violent charges may qualify for one of the pretrial diversion programs.
In Mesa, felony convictions can result in a jail or prison sentence, probation, and loss of certain rights, including the right to vote and own or possess guns. However, Arizona laws give more options to first-time offenders. As with non-violent misdemeanors, some of those facing felony charges may now participate in pretrial intervention or “diversion” programs.
The Felony Diversion Program increased efforts to provide education and treatment for those charged with certain types of felony offenses. These include the possession of controlled substances, as well as other non-violent crimes that meet eligibility criteria. This program helps first-time non-dangerous offenders avoid the harsh sentencing guidelines that can mean many years in prison.
In many cases, a defendant may decide to enter into a guilty plea to avoid jail time. Sometimes this is a wise decision. However, a guilty plea and conviction on one’s record can lead to more legal issues in the future, particularly for if you are accused of an offense in the future. By working with the experienced attorneys at our Mesa office, our clients have a much better understanding of their options and the possibility of avoiding damaging consequences to their criminal record.
Successfully applying for one of the Mesa diversion programs requires an understanding of the Arizona laws and criminal justice court system. Hiring a seasoned lawyer at the Grand Canyon Law Group can help ensure the best possible outcome.
Our attorneys will handle the case, file the necessary documents, and facilitate all communications with the court. We ensure our clients the highest probability of being accepted into the diversion programs. Once accepted, completing the program results in a full dismissal of the case and charges. This allows the defendant to avoid jail time and a lifelong criminal record.
However, it is important to understand that if you fail to successfully complete the program requirements, you risk conviction. Failure to complete in some programs just results in reinstatement of prosecution where your case starts again. In other agreements, failure to complete diversion leads to automatic entry of a conviction with no further opportunity to defend or negotiate. If you have been removed or accused of failing to complete your diversion program, contact an attorney right away to discuss your options.
Diversion programs do not always make sense for every accused person. Some of the difficulties of entering a diversion program are that 1) there is almost always some admission of guilt that must take place, and 2) it removes the ability to defend and let a judge or jury decide your guilt or innocence. Some of our clients decide after long discussion, that diversion is not the right choice for them, even when it is offered. We will never tell our clients, if they are truly innocent, that they must take a diversion plea. We are committed to fully informing our clients and fighting for the best outcome for them so that they can make the best decision for them and their families.
If you are facing charges, it is in your best interests to speak with our skilled attorneys as soon as possible. At Grand Canyon Law Group, we can help find the right diversion program in Mesa, where appropriate, for your situation and advocate on your behalf throughout the legal process. Call us today to set up an initial consultation and learn how we can work to protect your way of life.