Drug charges can be scary, especially if you’ve never faced them before. Prosecutors might threaten you with jail time or even prison, and the damage to your reputation can affect your ability to find a job, secure housing, and obtain an education. That’s a lot on the line for something like possession of a narcotic. But the good news is that you might not have to face a conviction in order to dispose of your criminal charges. While you might have criminal defense options available to you that can help you get an acquittal, you may have another option.
The criminal justice system is overwhelmed. As a result, judges and prosecutors are constantly looking for ways to keep nonviolent offenders out of jail while still attempting to rehabilitate them. One way they do this is through pre-trial diversion programs. When it comes to drug cases, many minor, first time offenders can enter into one of these programs, which essentially puts the criminal case on hold while the accused individual participates in drug screens, substance abuse treatment programs, and abides by other rules imposed by the court.
Those who are able to successfully complete a pre-trial diversion program, which can last as long as a year, have their charges dismissed. Those who fail to complete the program will see their criminal case kick back. There’s no automatic conviction for failing to complete a pre-trial diversion program. You’ll still have your day in court if that’s what you want.
It’s important to note that pre-trial diversion programs are voluntary. You don’t have to participate in it at all. But it is an option that may be worth considering depending on your set of circumstances.
Know how to best defend yourself
Whether you think pre-trial diversion or some other form of criminal defense is right for you, you need to know the law and how to use it to your advantage. That’s where the help of experienced legal teams like ours can step in to help.