Pretrial Diversion in Los Angeles County

In Los Angeles, pretrial diversion is a program that allows certain defendants to avoid criminal prosecution by completing certain conditions. Pretrial diversion is typically reserved for first-time offenders or those with a minimal criminal history who are charged with low-level offenses, such as minor drug possession or petty theft.

To be eligible for pretrial diversion, the defendant must typically meet certain criteria. For example, the defendant may need to have no prior convictions or only minor prior convictions. The defendant may also need to be a resident of Los Angeles County. In addition, the charges against the defendant must typically be misdemeanors or low-level felonies, and the defendant must generally not be accused of a violent crime or a sex crime.

If the defendant is eligible for pretrial diversion, the process typically begins with a referral to the program by the prosecutor. The defendant will then be required to complete certain conditions, which may include:

  • Community service: The defendant may be required to complete a certain number of hours of community service.
  • Rehabilitation: The defendant may be required to attend counseling, treatment, or rehabilitation programs.
  • Fines: The defendant may be required to pay fines or restitution to the victim.
  • Classes: The defendant may be required to attend classes or workshops on topics such as anger management or drug education.

If the defendant successfully completes the conditions of the pretrial diversion program, the charges against them will typically be dismissed. This means that the defendant will not have a criminal conviction on their record, and they will not have to serve any jail time or probation. However, if the defendant fails to complete the conditions, the prosecution may move forward with the criminal case, and the defendant may be sentenced to jail or prison if found guilty.

It is important to note that pretrial diversion is not available to everyone. The availability of pretrial diversion will depend on the specific charges, the defendant’s criminal history, and the laws of Los Angeles County. In some cases, the prosecution may be opposed to pretrial diversion, in which case the defendant may need to go to trial or negotiate a different plea bargain.

If you have been charged with a crime in Los Angeles and are interested in seeking pretrial diversion, it is important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you understand your options and advise you on the best course of action for your case. An attorney can also help you negotiate a pretrial diversion program or other plea bargain, if appropriate, and represent you in court.

It is also important to keep in mind that even if you are successful in a pretrial diversion program, the charges against you will not be automatically dismissed. In order to have the charges dismissed, you will need to complete the conditions of the program and have the charges dismissed by the court.

If you are considering seeking pretrial diversion in Los Angeles, it is important to carefully weigh the pros and cons of the program. On the one hand, pretrial diversion can allow you to avoid a criminal conviction and the potential consequences that come with it, such as jail time and a criminal record. On the other hand, pretrial diversion can be time-consuming and may require you to complete certain conditions that you may find burdensome or difficult to complete.

Ultimately, the decision of whether to seek pretrial diversion in Los Angeles should be made with the guidance of an experienced criminal defense attorney, who can help you understand your options and the potential consequences of each choice.