DA’s Office Announces Changes to the Diversion Program and the Introduction of a New Program

On May 8, 2018, the District Attorney’s Office announced changes to its criminal diversion program and the introduction of a new pre-file diversion program.

While diversion has been offered for years as a method of conviction avoidance for a person charged with a lower-level crime, the office is now implementing extensive updates to the diversion policy.  The policy is being overhauled both to expand the reach of the current program and to ensure fees do not limit access to diversion by people who may be experiencing financial instability. 

District Attorney Charles Branson stated, “Effective immediately, my office is abolishing the application and diversion agreement fees for criminal diversions. There will continue to be financial obligations associated with required lab, court and attorney fees and these fees cannot be waived by our office.  District Court, however, may consider a request to waive these remaining fees.”    

Prior offenses will be considered, but they will not automatically exclude someone from participating in a diversion program unless prohibited by state statute.  Specifically, the District Attorney’s Office will use a five (5) year look back of a person’s criminal history.  Convictions more than five (5) years old will no longer automatically disqualify an applicant.

In making a determination on granting a  diversion, the District Attorney’s Office will consider whether the applicant demonstrates a genuine sense of remorse, is prepared to acknowledge the act(s) charged and accepts accountability for the consequences of his/her actions.

Mary Shultz