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What is the pre-trial diversion program?

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It is human to err-everyone make mistakes sometimes. When those mistakes are related to breaking the law, the person making the mistake ends up facing long-term consequences that can affect the rest of their lives. However, when the person who has broken the law is a first-time offender and facing charges for non-violent offenses, such as drug charges similar to simple possession, it may be possible for the person charged to avail themselves of the drug-diversion program in Louisiana.

If the alleged offender does not have a record and fits certain criteria set out by the district attorney's office, they may qualify for this program. While completing the conditions set out in their agreement, the people entering the program are supervised by the district attorney's office. They are referred to educational, vocational and counseling groups, all as a means of deterring criminal behavior in the future.

In order to qualify, the individual must not have any felony convictions and must refrain from criminal behavior. The most important part is that it is a voluntary program-the person must be willing to participate in the program. Once all the conditions are met, the matter will generally be dismissed and the successful participant will be able to claim that they have never been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor.

The benefits of pre-trial diversion are immense for those who are facing first-time charges that can change the course of the rest of their life. Even though it is supposed to be automatically offered to everyone who qualifies, this is not always the case. It may be beneficial to consult an experienced attorney to ensure that one can take advantage of all of the resources available to them, allowing them to avoid paying for a mistake for the rest of their lives.

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Craig E. Gibbs, Attorney at Law
4650 General DeGaulle Drive, Suite 216
New Orleans, LA 70131

Fax: 504-393-0719
New Orleans Criminal Law Office

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