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What is a Pretrial Diversion Program?

In certain Minnesota counties, you may be eligible for a "pretrial diversion" if you have been charged with a crime and meet certain requirements.

A pretrial diversion means that the prosecutor has agreed to refer you to a program which is offered to certain offenders who qualify for participation as an alternative to prosecution. This is on the condition that the criminal charges against you will be dropped after a specific period of time or the case will not be convicted if you successfully complete the program (Minnesota Statute 401.065).

In the program, participants receive coordinated assistance in personal and group counseling, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, and other community agencies appropriate to their needs.

Am I Eligable?

Not all Minnesota counties/cities offer pretrial diversion programs, and not all crimes are eligible. A qualified criminal defense attorney can advise you of your options and negotiate with the prosecutor on your behalf. It is very important to discuss your eligibility for these programs with a knowledgeable attorney prior to making any plea in court. Once you have pled, you no longer meet the definition of an "offender" and are thus ineligible for the program.

Eligibility is considered for these reasons:

  1. Must be a nonviolent crime
  2. Offenders between the ages of 17 and 25 (may be waived in certain cases)
  3. Restitution when required
  4. Drug-related; Drug testing and/or counseling
  5. No continuing pattern of criminal behavior
  6. The individual must acknowledge his/her wrongdoing
  7. The individual must show a good faith willingness to participate in the program.

Minneapolis criminal defense attorney Carolyn Agin Schmidt is experienced in negotiating pretrial diversion programs for clients, including successfully obtaining entry to the programs for crimes that are typically ineligible. To learn more, contact her today.