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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Moisant

How to Get Diversion in Louisiana?

Can you get Diversion in Louisiana
Diversion in Louisiana

Facing criminal charges in Louisiana can be overwhelming.  The legal system can be complex, and a conviction can have lasting negative consequences.  Fortunately, Louisiana offers pretrial diversion programs as an alternative to prosecution for certain offenses.  This article explores how to get diversion in Louisiana and how Moisant Law Firm can help you navigate the process.

What is Diversion in Louisiana

Pretrial diversion is a program that allows individuals charged with specific crimes to avoid a criminal conviction.  Participants plead guilty or no contest and complete court-ordered requirements like community service, educational programs, or substance abuse treatment.   Successful completion typically leads to dismissal of the charges, keeping your record clean.

Who Qualifies for Diversion in Louisiana?

Diversion programs in Louisiana offer a second chance for those facing criminal charges. However, eligibility isn't automatic. Several factors are considered by the court, including the severity of the offense. Diversion is typically reserved for misdemeanors and non-violent felonies. Some jurisdictions might even extend it to specific traffic violations. Your criminal history also plays a role. First-time offenders have a significantly higher chance of qualifying for diversion. Those with a past criminal record, especially for similar offenses, may be excluded. Finally, the specific program offered by the court can have its own eligibility criteria. An attorney can advise you on programs available in your area and what their specific requirements might be.

Benefits of Diversion in Louisiana

There are significant advantages to participating in a diversion program. One of the most crucial benefits is avoiding a criminal conviction. A clean record can significantly improve your future prospects in housing, employment, and education. A criminal conviction can hold you back in many aspects of life, and diversion allows you to avoid that burden. Another benefit is the potential reduction in court costs and fines. Diversion programs are generally less expensive than going to trial. You'll avoid the associated legal fees and potential court costs that come with a full trial. Finally, court-ordered programs within a diversion program can provide crucial treatment or rehabilitation to address the root causes of the offense. This can help you avoid future criminal activity and get back on the right track.

The Steps to Get Diversion in Louisiana

The process for getting diversion can vary slightly depending on your jurisdiction.  Here's a general roadmap:

  1. Consult an Attorney: An experienced Louisiana criminal defense attorney is crucial in navigating the diversion process. They can assess your eligibility and develop a strategy to maximize your chances of success.

  2. Pre-Trial Hearing: Your attorney will represent you in a pre-trial hearing to present your case for diversion to the prosecutor and judge.

  3. Program Participation: If approved, you will complete all program requirements as ordered by the court. Your attorney can guide you through this stage.

  4. Program Completion: Upon successful completion, the charges against you will typically be dismissed.

Contact Moisant Law Firm ( 225) 803-0596 today for a consultation. We serve clients throughout Louisiana and can help you get the second chance you deserve.

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