If the accused is a first time offender, and the alleged crime is a relatively minor one, then they might be eligible to have their matter dealt with by way of diversion. Whilst the existence of a previous criminal record does not disqualify an offender from the diversion program, it may be considered by the Court when determining whether the accused is suitable for diversion.
For diversion to be granted:
- the informant/prosecution must agree to the diversion; and
- The accused must then acknowledge responsibility for the offence.
The accused will be required to attend Court to complete a questionnaire and interview before a judicial officer. The decision to grant the diversion will be heard in Court. The Court will place certain conditions on the accused to complete as part of the diversion program, which may include:
- Writing a letter of apology;
- Making a donation to charity;
- Attending therapy programs; and/or
- Remaining on good behaviour for a period of time.
Once the conditions of the program are complete, then the charges will be dismissed with no finding of guilt recorded against the accused. However, if the accused fails to adhere to the terms of the diversion program, then the matter will be referred back to Court.
If you have been charged with a criminal offence, finding the right representation is the first step in any case. Contact ASAP Lawyers for a confidential discussion about your matter on 03 9450 9400.