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Diversion: The Path of Least Resistance

Aggressive Trial Attorney With a Reputation for Success

Diversion programs are a good thing.  Diversion programs - commonly called Pretrial Intervention, Pretrial Diversion, Deferred Prosecution Agreement, or any other name - are essentially the same thing: If you - the accused - complete a set of conditions, your case will be dismissed.

Now diversion programs are not automatic.  Your criminal defense attorney must negotiate with the prosecutor in order to obtain this excellent result.

But if you are eligible for a diversion program (normally this means that you have no prior criminal history) you will want to speak with your attorney about this possible resolution as soon as possible.

I call diversion the path of least resistance because diversion affords the accused a guaranteed result.  In criminal court, there is no such thing as a guarantee - except that if you successfully complete the terms and conditions of your diversion program, your case WILL be dismissed. That's a guaranteed outcome.

Now you may not want to complete diversion.  Perhaps you are factually innocent and the State's evidence is inadequate to sustain a conviction if your case proceeded to trial.

Accepting diversion is the client's decision.  However, any trial carries a risk.  And diversion - assuming you follow the program rules and don't pick up any new charges - carries no risk.

Talk to your criminal defense attorney about diversion programs.

Eric Matheny is a criminal defense attorney serving Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties.