As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I do my best to let people know what options are available to them in the event of an arrest. In today's post I will focus on the sentencing alternative of a pretrial diversion program in Georgia.
Pretrial diversion programs are alternatives that can sometimes be available to first-time offenders. Most of the time, only people who have committed non-violent and non-aggressive offenses are eligible for the program.
I will explain the law and the ins and outs in today's post.
Pretrial Diversion in Georgia
The Georgia Code outlines pretrial diversion programs as:
(a) The prosecuting attorneys for each judicial circuit of this state shall be authorized to create and administer a Pretrial Intervention and Diversion Program. The prosecuting attorney for state courts, probate courts, magistrate courts, municipal courts, and any other court that hears cases involving a violation of the criminal laws of this state or ordinance violations shall also be authorized to create and administer a Pretrial Intervention and Diversion Program for offenses within the jurisdiction of such courts.
(b) It shall be the purpose of such a program to provide an alternative to prosecuting offenders in the criminal justice system.
(c) Entry into the program shall be at the discretion of the prosecuting attorney based upon written guidelines.
(d) The prosecuting attorney implementing said program shall create written guidelines for acceptance into and administration of the program. These guidelines shall include, but are not limited to, consideration of the following:
(1) The nature of the crime;
(2) The prior arrest record of the offender; and
(3) The notification and response of the victim. O.C.G.A. §15-18-80.
If available, a Pretrial Diversion Program allows you to complete certain requirements in a specified time period and once completed, the charges will be dismissed and potentially eligible for expungement from your criminal record. If a case is resolved by participation in the Pretrial Diversion Program, because the charges are dismissed upon completion no conviction will be entered in the case.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI in Georgia or any other serious traffic violation, contact our offices today. We are well-experienced in DUI Defense and can help with your case. A Georgia DUI Attorney can walk you through any and all options that may be available to you.