What is the Pretrial Diversion Program and How Can I Participate?

In Orange County, as in other jurisdictions, there is a pretrial diversion program (PTD). This is a special program that is supervised by Orange County Community Corrections. If you successfully complete the program you will not be prosecuted for a crime. Only those eligible will be offered the program through the State Attorney. Your attorney will inquire about the possibility of this program, particularly if this is your first offense.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible to participate in the PTD program you must meet specific qualifications. The crime must be a misdemeanor (including DUI), and must not have had a previous conviction for a similar crime. You must be a legal resident to take part in the program. Regarding DUIs, the participant must not have been arrested for DUI in the past in order to qualify for the program. Participation must be approved by the Office of the State Attorney.

Program Specifics

The program is tailored to the specific type of crime that was charged. For example, the program for a simple misdemeanor case is 6 months in length and requires a minimum of 40 hours of community service. For DUI cases, the program will last 12 to 15 months and require at least 50 hours of community service. Additionally, the program requires a 6 month mandatory ignition interlock device. As part of the program, participants must attend classes.

How to Participate

The PTD program must be referred by the Office of the State Attorney. Neither you nor your attorney can refer you directly to the program. If you are chosen for participation you must sign a contract that outlines the requirements. If you fail to complete the program the original charges will be prosecuted. The PTD program doesn’t start until the paperwork is signed, so you must continue to attend all court appearances in the meantime. The participant is responsible for all the fees associated with the program.

Benefits of the Program

The PTD program offers many benefits. The most important benefit is that once the program is successfully completed the charges are dropped and there will be no record of any type of conviction. This can be important for those who wish to keep their records clean. The program offers participants a way to actually learn about their situation and gives them the tools to enable them to make life changes so they can avoid similar problems in the future.

If you have been charged with a misdemeanor in Orange County speak to an experienced criminal attorney as soon as possible to learn more about this program.

For more information on the DUI diversion programs check out this blog post.