Prosecutorial Diversion or Deferment Agreement: Understanding the Basics
When someone is charged with a crime, they may be given the option of entering into a prosecutorial diversion or deferment agreement. These agreements allow defendants to avoid trial and incarceration by agreeing to fulfill certain conditions set by the prosecution.
What is a Prosecutorial Diversion Agreement?
A prosecutorial diversion agreement, also known as a pre-trial diversion program, allows a defendant to avoid prosecution and a criminal record by meeting certain conditions set forth by the prosecuting attorney. These conditions may include community service, drug or alcohol treatment, counseling, or other rehabilitative measures.
If the defendant successfully completes the program, the charges against them are dismissed. However, if they fail to fulfill the conditions, the case will proceed to trial and the defendant will face the original charges.
What is a Deferment Agreement?
A deferment agreement, also known as a deferred prosecution agreement, is similar to a diversion agreement but may be offered to defendants who have already been charged with a crime. In a deferment agreement, the defendant agrees to certain conditions in exchange for the prosecution delaying or deferring the prosecution of the case.
Like with diversion agreements, if the defendant successfully fulfills the conditions set forth in the agreement, the charges against them may be dismissed. However, if they fail to meet the conditions, the prosecution may proceed with the case and the defendant will face trial.
Why are Diversion and Deferment Agreements Used?
Prosecutorial diversion and deferment agreements are used for a variety of reasons. In many cases, they are used as an alternative to incarceration for non-violent offenders. They can also help to reduce the backlog of cases in the court system and may be a cost-effective way to address low-level crimes.
Additionally, diversion and deferment agreements can provide individuals with the opportunity to address underlying issues that may have contributed to their criminal behavior. By providing access to rehabilitation programs and other support services, these agreements may help individuals avoid future criminal activity.
Prosecutorial diversion and deferment agreements can be an effective tool for addressing low-level criminal activity and providing individuals with the support they need to avoid future legal issues. If you are faced with criminal charges, it is important to speak with an experienced attorney to determine whether a diversion or deferment agreement may be an option for you. By working together with the prosecution, you may be able to avoid a criminal record and move forward with your life.