diversion program az castillo law

Video Blog: Diversion Programs in Arizona

Cindy Castillo Arizona Law

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Hi, my name is Cindy Castillo with Castillo Law. Today I’d like to talk to you about diversion.

Now I previously did a video on TASC. Typically TASC is for individuals who have been charged with drug offenses. Diversion in the State of Arizona typically covers common charges such as prostitution, shoplifting, minors in possession, domestic violence such as assault, criminal damage, or disorderly conduct.

If you have been charged with any one of these types of offenses and this is a first offense for you, you may be offered a diversion program. However,  it depends on the agency that has prosecuted you. Justice courts do not offer diversion programs. Most of your city courts offer diversion programs under certain scenarios.

Some of those scenarios, again, include first time offenders, individuals where there’s not a physical injury or where victims are not disputing offering the diversion program. Also, under the shoplifting scenario, if you are under 100 dollars most of your prosecuting agencies will offer a shoplifting diversion program to you on a first offense.

What is diversion? Well, diversion basically means this: You are offered to go to a class for whatever offense that you committed, whether it be a shoplifting class, sometimes they offer cognitive skills classes for shoplifting, or perhaps it’s a domestic violence charge such as assault or disorderly conduct. You’ll be sent to do classes involving anger management or domestic violence. Finally, in the prostitution arena you may be sent to either a cognitive skills class or some type of prostitution class teaching individuals how to make money through legal means versus illegal means.

The diversion program is a great program for the prosecuting agencies to offer because when they have offered this, usually they don’t see these individuals back. It’s good for you because if you complete the program and complete it successfully, then the charge will be dismissed and it will be almost as though you were never charged. If you were arrested that may be a different story because you may still have an arrest history, but as far as the charge is concerned, it usually goes away.

Now the diversion programs, again depending on the agency, may require that you actually go into the court room and plead guilty to the offense, but the judge will tell you that he is going to hold the conviction in abeyance until you have had the opportunity to complete the program. Once you complete the program he will dismiss the charges.

It’s very important that you understand that is an admission of your guilt and that if you don’t actually complete the program that that admission could be used against you. If you are considering using the diversion program it’s very important that you understand that you have to actually complete that program and you must complete it successfully. Some people like to sign up but actually when it comes down to going to the class or paying for the class, they realize they don’t have the money.

Get legal consultation, ensure that you know exactly what you are entering into before you accept the diversion program. If you have any questions about any one of those charges that I initially named or about the diversion program, please feel free to give me a call. I do offer free consultations.
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