If you have been charged with a minor crime, the prosecutor might give you the option of participating in a diversion program before your case even gets to trial. The way this works is that you and the prosecutor agree to postpone your case for about a year while you complete the requirements of your prescribed diversion program (such as attend drug or alcohol counseling sessions). If you successfully complete the diversion program and otherwise have good behavior during that time period, then the prosecutor will dismiss the charge against you and have your record expunged (meaning it will be wiped out and it will be as if it never existed).
A pre-trial diversion, as it is called, is a good idea for many defendants, but not for all. It is important to note that generally, you only get one chance to participate in diversion, so if you participate in diversion and then get arrested again, you will not have the option of participating in diversion for the second (or any subsequent) arrest.
You will want to speak with your South King County criminal lawyer about your diversion program options. For defendants who have a high chance of being arrested again (as in, those with an addiction to drugs or alcohol), diversion might not be the best choice, depending on how serious the infraction is and how strong the prosecutor’s case is against you. If the prosecutor’s case is not very strong, you and your lawyer may want to fight the case and hope that the outcome is decided in your favor. This will save your diversion option for an arrest in the future for which the prosecutor might have a stronger case against you. In addition, certain defendants might know about themselves that they cannot stay out of trouble for a year or so, and those defendants might prefer to take the penalty that comes with the conviction, whether it be a fine or a short jail term.
If you would like to discuss your case with an experience King County DUI Lawyer, call South King County criminal attorney for a free initial consultation.