A diversion program is an alternative to criminal prosecution for certain offenses. The purpose of diversion programs is to give people an opportunity to take responsibility for their actions without being convicted.
The program is available for certain offenses, and individuals must meet a set of requirements to complete the program and avoid going through the traditional prosecutorial process.
Pretrial diversion programs
In Louisiana, the pretrial diversion program permits certain people the state has changed with criminal offenses to avoid conviction by meeting requirements, such as:
- Community service
- Anger management programs
- Therapy or counseling
- Drug rehabilitation programs
- Other requirements
There may be other requirements depending on the court and the type of crime.
Who qualifies for diversion programs?
To qualify for Louisiana diversion programs:
- You must be arrested and charged with a qualifying misdemeanor or
- You must be arrested and charged with a qualifying non-violent felony.
- You cannot have any prior felony convictions.
- You must agree to abide by the rules of the program.
Rehabilitating people is another purpose of diversion programs. They still must pay for their actions and complete requirements, but if they complete the program successfully, they can avoid having a criminal record and can address the underlying issues they have.
Program fees and costs
Qualifying individuals must pay a fee of anywhere between $50 and $250, depending on the jurisdiction.
The individual is given a certificate of completion after completing the program. Staying on the right side of the law after completing the program is essential because convictions can result in a criminal record, negatively impacting a person’s life in many ways.