Article provided by: Kohn & Yager, LLC
The Pretrial Diversion Program was created as an alternative to the traditional prosecution and conviction of certain first-time offenders. The scheme targets low-risk offenders who have committed non-violent crimes or crimes related to domestic violence and are willing to accept responsibility for their actions. The decision to participate in a pretrial intervention program has to be voluntary and should be made with the advice of counsel. At Criminal Defense Lawyers, our experienced criminal attorneys know all there is to know about pretrial programs and can give you all the counsel you need to make an informed decision.
How does Pretrial Intervention (PTI) work?
All offenders accepted into PTI will enter a contractual agreement with the state. They will be subject to individualized supervision, and they may be required to participate in counseling sessions, drug screenings, education, and community service work.
Offenders who wish to participate in the pretrial program must file their application before adjudication, that is, before they are asked to take a plea or found guilty. After successfully completing the program, the charges will be dismissed, and they will have no criminal record. On the other hand, the prosecution will proceed with the charges if the offender fails to complete the intervention program.
What are the benefits of Pretrial Diversion?
People who choose to participate in pretrial intervention programs stand to gain a number of benefits. Some of them include:
- Avoiding the complications or cost of a trial
- Having a clean criminal record after completing the program
- Avoiding the struggle that comes with getting a job after a conviction
- The responsibilities people participating in PTIs have to fulfill are much more lenient than the sentence that comes with traditional convictions.
How do I qualify for the intervention program?
As per the legal definitions of pretrial intervention, not all offenders can participate in PTI in Georgia. First and foremost, the offender must be at least 17 years of age and have no prior criminal record. Juveniles with previous convictions or arrests are not eligible for the program. Furthermore, most traffic violation cases and all DUI cases are not considered for PTI.
The program is more common with marijuana possessions, simple assault, domestic violence, battery, disorderly conduct, shoplifting, and other related non-violent cases.
How long will I be required to remain in the program?
Different counties have different guidelines for their pretrial intervention programs. Your program's duration will be established by your prosecuting attorney, based on the county's guidelines if you qualify for the program. Typically, program length ranges from 3 to 12 months.
In some cases, there may be the possibility of terminating the program before the established duration. If present, this possibility will be made clear in the program order.
Contact Georgia's foremost pretrial lawyers
Do you wish to know if you qualify for a pretrial diversion program? Or you need a competent pretrial lawyer that's familiar with the pretrial intervention programs of all the counties in Georgia? You need not look beyond Kohn and Yager, the leading criminal defense attorneys in Georgia. Call us for a free consultation on any of the following numbers: Sandy Springs Office/404) 567-5515, Downtown Atlanta/(404) 567-5515, Marietta Office/(770) 629-8620, Alpharetta Office/770) 629-9614.