Deferred adjudication and pretrial diversion programs are used in many criminal cases to prevent a defendant from having to go to trial. This is a chance for the defendant to pay a penalty for the crime, but once the program is successfully completed, the person might not have a mark on his or her criminal record.
One thing that people who are being offered these options must realize is that they come with conditions. You can’t get into more legal trouble and successfully complete the program. If you get into trouble or you don’t complete the program, you can face more legal consequences.
In some cases, you might have to plead no contest or guilty before you can participate in the deferred adjudication program. Make sure that you think about what this means. Primarily, you need to remember that if you do mess up, that guilty or no contest plea can come back on you. You have to be careful with your actions as long as you haven’t yet completed the program.
In the case of a pretrial diversion, you likely won’t have to plea before you enter the program. If you mess up on this program, you will have a face a trial for the charges.
Any decision that you make during your case can have a big impact on your future. You must think carefully about everything that is offered to you. Be realistic about what you are going to be able to do while you are still under the court’s supervision. This might help you decide what you are willing to pursue.
Source: FindLaw, “Deferred Adjudication / Pretrial Diversion,” accessed June 07, 2017
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