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Pretrial diversion in Georgia


A term you hear increasingly in criminal litigation is “pretrial diversion”.  What is pretrial diversion?  In Georgia, in some cases a prosecutor has the authority to enter into a pretrial diversion agreement with a defendant to resolve his case.  Basically, a pretrial diversion agreement is where a defendant agrees to do certain things and upon completion his or her case will be dismissed and eligible for expungement/record restriction.

In Georgia, Prosecuting attorneys pursuant to O.C.G.A. 15-18-80 are authorized to create and administer a pretrial intervention and diversion program to provide an alternative to prosecuting offenders. Entry into the program is at the discretion of the prosecuting attorney.  A prosecutor usually has guidelines as to who may enter the program.  Factors a prosecutor may consider are the following:

  • the nature of the crime
    • the prior arrest record of the offender
    • the notification and response of the victim

No prosecuting attorney may accept any offender into the program for an offense for which the law provides a mandatory minimum sentence of incarceration or imprisonment that cannot be suspended, probated, or deferred.  Therefore, DUI cases are not eligible for pretrial diversion since at least the 24 hour jail sentence is mandatory.  The prosecuting attorney is authorized to assess and collect from each offender who enters the program a fee not to exceed $1000 for the administration of the program, and to collect restitution on behalf of victims (this number has changed in the past and may very well change again in the future).

With that said, why with the defendant want to do a pretrial diversion?  The most common reason is that a pretrial diversion if completed will allow the defendant to have the record expunged/restricted.

If you have been arrested you should always seek the advice of an attorney before court.  Pretrial diversion’s might be a great way to resolve your case but speak to an attorney before you enter into such an agreement.

Legal disclaimer: The information contained on this page and this entire website is for informational purposes only and are not intended as legal advice.  You should always consult an attorney before taking legal action.  Reading this website or any website is not a substitute for a trained attorney.  This website does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Shawn Bible Law Firm.  Mr. Bible serves all Northwest Georgia, including the cities of Ringgold, Fort Oglethorpe, Dalton, Lafayette, Trenton, Summerville and Rossville, in the counties of Catoosa, Walker, Chattooga, Dade, and Whitfield.

Posted on: 24 Oct, 2017          under: Criminal Law

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