Being accused of a criminal offense for the first time can be a terrifying feeling. It is likely that you are worried about getting a criminal record and having your future prospects severely limited. Unfortunately, these concerns are not unrealistic, and it is possible to face serious consequences as a result of a first-time drug offense.
However, there are opportunities in Georgia for first-time offenders to avoid prosecution. This opportunity comes in the form of a Diversion Program. A Diversion Program presents an alternative to prosecution, with the intention of preventing first-time offenders from re-offending in the future. These programs have certain eligibility requirements, so it is important that you understand exactly how they work and whether you might qualify for the program.
What are the eligibility requirements for diversion programs in Georgia?
Diversion programs are available to those who have been accused of non-violent drug possession when they have never been charged with a crime in the past.
How do diversion programs work?
Most diversion programs differ slightly from one another. However, usually they involve paying a small fee of around $300 to the court. After this has been done, the first-time offender will attend a series of classes that help them to modify their behavior and learn how to prevent re-offenses. Often the course involves community service, and it will most likely involve a course of group or individual counseling. These programs usually last between six months and one year.
What will happen if I do not complete the course?
If a first-time offender fails to complete their diversion course, their case will return to court and they will have to start the process over again. In addition, they will no longer be eligible for a diversion program and they will most likely be prosecuted for the crime.
It is important not to underestimate the opportunities that diversion programs provide for first-time offenders. By completing a course, you may even be able to avoid jail time. Make sure that you take action to secure your future prospects and learn more about diversion programs.