In the world of law one of the steps is negotiation. Both the prosecution and the defense, and sometimes the judge, will sit down and discuss the case and the potential outcomes. This is an opportunity for the prosecution to offer a “plea bargain” to the defense, and it gives the opportunity for the defense to obtain a potential resolution for the case. Within this world one of the outcomes may be a “diversion offer” , which may be beneficial to someone charged with a crime.
In San Diego county, a goal is to get qualified to be part of a diversion program. How do you do that? The best way is to contact our firm now for a free consultation at (858) 751-4384.
What are Diversion Offers?
Diversion offers give the opportunity for the defendant to get their case reduced. This is not offered to everyone, it is very dependent on your case, the type of case, and whether or not you have a prior criminal record. For example, when a person is arrested for a petty theft, and they have never been arrested or convicted of a crime previously, they may be offered a chance at a diversion offer. Usually how it works in these cases is the prosecution will allow the person charged to come back at a later date, usually several months, and show proof of volunteer work service and a theft course. If the person does come back and show proof of this, they will be allowed to enter a plea to an infraction rather than to a misdemeanor. This is very beneficial because infractions are just the same as a traffic ticket and will look much better on your record.
Another diversion offer is PC1000. This allows a person who is being charged with a minor drug offense, such as possession with no priors, to eventually get their case dismissed. How this works is the person pleads guilty to the offense, for example, possession of methamphetamine. However, they are not sentenced right away for the offense. As part of PC 1000 they must enter into a treatment program, usually lasting approximately three months, and comes with several drug tests. After completion of the program, they must then stay law abiding for a total of 18 months from the date of the plea. If the person completes all of these terms, at the end of the 18 month period their case will be dismissed. If the person does not complete all these terms, they are sentenced to the original charge. PC 1000 is extremely advantageous as they will not have a conviction on their record!
These are just a few examples of diversion offers. This is a way for a first time, low level offender to take advantage of a plea and eventually having their case reduced or dismissed. Another example of a diversion offer is a community justice initiative offer.
You will never know ahead of time if your case is going to get a diversion offer for sure. DUIs are generally not eligible for any diversion offer (unless you are miltiary personnel with verified PTSD). The key in determining whether you get diversion is calling our office now to get a case evaluation at (858) 751-4384.
What is a Community Justice Initiative Offer?
A community justice initiative offer is a type of diversion offer that is unique to downtown San Diego court cases. The City Attorney’s Office of San Diego has teamed up with the courts and others to create this resolution. What this does is allows a person who is charged with a low-level “quality of life” offense, and who is a first-time offender, to eventually get their case dismissed. They will be required to complete 16 hours of community service and pay the fee to do so, and after several months, if they do not commit any more crimes and have completed the community service hours, their case will be dismissed. If the person does not complete the terms, they will have to do between two and five days in jail. This offer is an extremely helpful offer for first-time offenders because it allows someone to get their case dismissed.
For example, say someone who has no record is charged with being a minor in possession of alcohol. When they go to court they are offered the community justice initiative offer. They can plead guilty and take the offer, pay the fee and do the community service, and then come back and get the case completely dismissed!
These types of resolutions are beneficial as they may help reduce or dismiss the original charge. This can be important for your record and future employment opportunities. If you or a loved one are a first-time offender who is being charged with a misdemeanor it is important to be proactive in your case and talk to an experienced attorney who can negotiate for you and help you obtain these types of offers. Be proactive today and contact The Law Offices of Mark Deniz at (858) 751-4384.