How Diversion Programs Can Help Your Criminal Defense Case 

 March 25, 2013

By  LMW Attorneys

If you or someone you know has been charged with assault and battery there are plenty of things you can do to avoid jail time. First step would be to look into legal council. After obtaining council, try taking to your attorney about a diversion program.

What is a Diversion Program?

A diversion program is when the court orders an offender to enter a program and upon completion the charges against the offender are dropped. First started out for youthful offenders meant to protect certain offenders from the harshness of the juvenile justice system, however it has expanded to include adult offenders as well. Most common diversion programs include, community service, a charitable donation, writing a letter of apology or a short essay, and participating in a classroom about the given effects of the offense.

Particularly in Florida many of the diversion programs go through the Associated Marine Institute. This program offers young offenders to learn skills such as boat repair and marine biology. The offender could also work with the Florida Environment Institute by taking care of plants and animals, hauling logs, or doing repair work in the Florida Everglades.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

Although a lawyer is not needed if the accused wishes to complete a diversion program it is strongly advised to have one. Many benefits come from obtaining council. First and most importantly is the peace of mind that comes with an attorney. Having someone who knows the ins and outs of the justice system should put the offender more at ease. The second reason to obtain council is that it may take a number of hours for a court appearance, which are always held during common business hours. By signing a designation, the offender does not have to show up and the attorney would see to it to get the best deal for the offender. The last reason to use an attorney is they can help negotiate for a diversion program where it is not commonly used. Such as the case with assault and battery, and attorney could argue for anger management classes and community service instead of jail time.

If you have been charged with assault and battery, contact your New Port Richey Attorneys, Laporte, Mulligan & Werner-Watkins, P.A. today to schedule your no cost consultation.