Although the details of the pretrial diversion program may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, individuals arrested for the first time are given an option of keeping the crime off of their record without having to go to trial. Pretrial diversion is a program for certain first-time offenders to avoid being marked by a felony conviction for the rest of their lives. Pretrial diversion is known by a multiplicity of names, such as pretrial intervention, good behavior, withheld adjudication, and deferred prosecution.
The program works something like this. A first time offender who is charged with a criminal offense of a relatively minor nature and who appears to be an individual who is not likely to be a repeat offender may be given the option of pretrial diversion. If the defendant accepts the offer, he will enter a plea of guilty to the criminal offense. The judge however will not enter an order of guilty in the case. The defendant is not guilty until the judge actually issues an order finding him guilty. At this point the defendant is in limbo between pleading guilty and being convicted.
The pretrial diversion program is a benefit for both the government and the defendant. PTD accomplishes certain goals for both the defendant and the prosecution. First, it provides a vehicle for more expedient restitution to the victims of the crime. If the defendant serves time in prison his hourly wage is $0.12 per hour and the payment of restitution or fines is a long, painful process. Secondly, it deters future criminal behavior by diverting first time offenders from a traditional prison term to community supervision and the performance of services or even home detention. The defendant realizes that he was very close to federal incarceration, being labeled as a felon and will act more responsibly in the future by getting his second chance. Finally, it allows federal prosecutors to concentrate on major cases and those high profile cases that advance their careers, which by the way the way they all want. In most cases, the period of supervision or probation does not exceed eighteen (18) months.
A defendant, in order to get into the pretrial diversion program must meet certain criteria. A good Federal Prison Consultant knows the criteria and can prepare an initial evaluation or review for a defendant to determine his eligibility. If the defendant is eligible, the Consultant will prepare a comprehensive report documenting pretrial diversion as an alternative sentencing mechanism for the defendant for presenting to the Court.
In times when the Department of Justice has a 97% guilty plea rate in federal criminal cases and federal prosecutors have over a 75% conviction rate following trial and 91% of federal criminal defendants receive a prison sentence, isn’t it in a federal defendants best interest to call a reputable Federal Prison Consultant and determine if he is eligible for Pretrial Diversion or an alternative sentencing mechanism. I know if I was facing federal prison, I would!
More information on this subject and other forms of alternative sentencing can be found by calling Michael Frantz at 954-522-2254 or going to the JailTime Consulting website, http://www.jailtimeconsulting.com.