The Use of Diversion Programs in the Criminal Justice System

The Baltimore Sun recently reported that Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison released a sweeping crime plan which includes new deployment strategies, plans for improved technology, and other initiatives to help reduce violence. The plan includes a variety of ideas including:

  • Fast response times for priority calls where life or property is endangered
  • Micro-zones to focus on high-crime areas
  • Better collaboration with the federal, state, and city prosecutor’s offices
  • Updates to the latest technology to better report and manage criminal charges

Diversion programs

One of the items on the Police Commissioner’s list of goals was to improve a diversion program called the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD). Diversion programs often have the same goal – to keep the accused out of jail while requiring that the accused do something in return. The trade-off can be doing a certain number of hours of community service. Trade-offs also include a commitment by the accused to avoid any further problems that could lead to arrest during a probationary period. Defendants may also be required to get counseling or take approved courses to modify their behavior.

Diversion programs generally are used for low-level crimes that don’t involve violence. The defendants must normally also have no prior criminal record or a very minimal record. Normally, if the accused completes the requirements of the program, the charges are dropped and the defendant does not have a criminal record. Law enforcement will know of the diversion program which means if the accused gets into trouble again, the accused won’t be able to use the diversion program a second time

The diversion programs vary from county to county. Some examples of diversion programs in Prince George’s County Maryland, are:

  • Writing bad checks. The retailers notify the county who in turns notifies the person who wrote the check. The person is given 10 days to pay the amount of the check or face criminal charges.
  • Driving while a license is suspended or without a license. First-time offenders can attend a four-hour diversion class. If the driver obtains a valid driver’s license and completes the class, the charge (and up to five tickets) may be removed from their driving record.
  • Marijuana diversion. If you are charged with less than 10 grams of marijuana, then you can take either a six hour course or perform 24 hours of community services. You must also stay drug-free and will be subject to random urinalysis.
  • Theft diversion. For theft cases under $1,000 (which usually means shoplifting), offenders can take a six-hour class to avoid prosecution.

Some counties also have driving while intoxicated diversion programs for first-time offenders. Generally, the accused must attend classes, be checked for alcohol in their system randomly, and avoid any criminal charges for a set period of time (such as one year).

At Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law, our primary goal is to have the charges against you dismissed. If the prosecution doesn’t agree to dismiss the charges or the judge doesn’t agree to drop the charges, we explain what diversionary programs are possible. We also work to negotiate fair plea agreements to less serious charges. If necessary, we’re ready to argue your case before a jury. To schedule a consultation with an experienced Annapolis criminal defense lawyer, call Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law at 410.777.8103, or fill out my contact form.

And remember: Keep Calm, and Call Drew.

 

Contact Me Now For A Free Consultation

Call Now For A FREE Consultation To Discuss Your Case
Call Drew Cochran Directly 410-777-8103

Our Testimonials

Client

We wanted to sincerely thank you for all you did to help [our child] through this difficult phase of his life. The additional time that you spent and your effort to take a personal interest in his welfare and progress was certainly far beyond what one would expect. We are most grateful and pleased with your professional services but let's hope we don't have to rely on them in the future.

~ Client

Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law
5.0
2016-10-17T12:53:57+00:00

~ Client

We wanted to sincerely thank you for all you did to help [our child] through this difficult phase of his life. The additional time that you spent and your effort to take a personal interest in his welfare and progress was certainly far beyond what one would expect. We are most grateful and pleased with your professional services but let's hope we don't have to rely on them in the future.

Client

I want to thank you for your representation of [our] case. You did a wonderful job in bringing the truth to the jury. You were magnificent in the court room. You gave us our day in court. Thank You.

~ Client

Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law
5.0
2016-10-17T12:54:27+00:00

~ Client

I want to thank you for your representation of [our] case. You did a wonderful job in bringing the truth to the jury. You were magnificent in the court room. You gave us our day in court. Thank You.

Client

This is a lawyer that cares about who you are and helping you through the situation. Dealing with such life impacting challenge can be overwhelming, yet Mr. Cochran treats you like family and takes his time to understand your case as well as how it is impacting you. He provides exceptional law support based upon his years of experience and knowledge. Mr. Cochran is someone that you want on your side.

~ Client

Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law
5.0
2017-03-24T14:01:06+00:00

~ Client

This is a lawyer that cares about who you are and helping you through the situation. Dealing with such life impacting challenge can be overwhelming, yet Mr. Cochran treats you like family and takes his time to understand your case as well as how it is impacting you. He provides exceptional law support based upon his years of experience and knowledge. Mr. Cochran is someone that you want on your side.

Client

The best lawyer I ever had or dealt with. Very easy to communicate and always able to speak to you without having you wait for days for an answer. Every time he has said something he will take care of that day he actually has done it and took care of it. 

~ Client

Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law
5.0
2016-10-02T18:41:06+00:00

~ Client

The best lawyer I ever had or dealt with. Very easy to communicate and always able to speak to you without having you wait for days for an answer. Every time he has said something he will take care of that day he actually has done it and took care of it. 

Client

Thank you for guiding me through this process. You were efficient and results oriented but also understanding of my bigger picture. I appreciate your patience in listening to my concerns. However, at the end of the day, results matter and you provided the best results for a very serious matter. I would recommend you to anyone facing a district court matter.

~ Client

Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law
5.0
2016-10-17T12:53:19+00:00

~ Client

Thank you for guiding me through this process. You were efficient and results oriented but also understanding of my bigger picture. I appreciate your patience in listening to my concerns. However, at the end of the day, results matter and you provided the best results for a very serious matter. I would recommend you to anyone facing a district court matter.

Client

Drew Cochran is an outstanding defense attorney. Seasoned, savvy, and smart, he knows the law and understands how to apply it to get the maximum benefit for his client. He keeps his eye on the big picture—getting the best results possible—while attending to the smallest details to ensure success. He is accessible, responsive, and user-friendly, while communicating clearly with the client. And with a fair, single-fee, cost structure for his services, he is also cost-effective and economical, and doesn’t “keep the hourly-rate meter running” for the time he invests in the case. If you’re looking for a super-effective attorney who can get results even against the odds, Drew Cochran should be your choice. Sign me VHC for Very Happy Client

~ Client

Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law
5.0
2017-11-16T15:00:24+00:00

~ Client

Drew Cochran is an outstanding defense attorney. Seasoned, savvy, and smart, he knows the law and understands how to apply it to get the maximum benefit for his client. He keeps his eye on the big picture—getting the best results possible—while attending to the smallest details to ensure success. He is accessible, responsive, and user-friendly, while communicating clearly with the client. And with a fair, single-fee, cost structure for his services, he is also cost-effective and economical, and doesn’t “keep the hourly-rate meter running” for the time he invests in the case. If you’re looking for a super-effective attorney who can get results even against the odds, Drew Cochran should be your choice. Sign me VHC for Very Happy Client
5
6
Whats UpAvvoBBB
TEXT US410-777-8103