Pretrial Diversion programs are available usually only to first time offenders to resolve their cases and successful completion results in the State dropping the charges. The qualifications for these programs do differ from county to county.
First and foremost, the crime the defendant is accused of usually must be a misdemeanor. In Polk County, the most common charges that defendants are offered diversion for are possession of cannabis, driving while license suspended or revoked, and domestic violence battery. The second qualification is that the defendant must not have been found guilty of a prior offense.
Diversion usually consists of an evaluation and some sort of counseling, depending upon the charge. It might even consist of drug testing. The defendant must pay for the diversion program and all related testing. The program takes anywhere from a couple of months to about 6 months.
If the defendant can meet the qualifications of the diversion program and successfully complete the diversion program, the State Attorney’s Office will drop the charges.