If your child has been arrested, charged with an adult crime, and must face a trial, this is a very serious issue as a conviction can result in significant penalties and lifelong consequences.
Through pretrial diversion, criminal defense lawyers may be able to help your minor child avoid conviction and the serious penalties that go with it.
It can be a critical second chance for many honest juveniles who have made mistakes but can learn from them without facing penalties like incarceration and a permanent criminal record.
What Is Pretrial Diversion for Juveniles?
Pretrial diversion is an alternative to traditional punishment like jail time or probation for juveniles involved in non-violent crimes.
These programs exist as a means of providing rehabilitation for many younger people who have committed a crime but could be reformed with proper guidance.
A criminal defense attorney experienced with juvenile cases can help parents decide how best to handle the situation and potentially enroll their child into one of these programs that can prevent conviction as long as the program requirements are fulfilled.
It can be a much better option to jail time and other punishment plus the child could avoid a lifelong criminal record from such an early age.
What Are Some Pretrial Diversion Programs for Juveniles?
As a parent of a minor who has been arrested for a non-violent crime, discuss the various pretrial diversion programs with a criminal defense lawyer to find one that’s applicable for your child’s situation:
- First Offender Program - This is a voluntary program available only to first-time offenders who meet certain criteria and can accomplish other criteria such as community service, vocational training, counseling, restitution, and more to complete the program. Upon completion, the juvenile’s case is closed.
- Deferred Prosecution - This is a voluntary program where prosecution is delayed for a probationary period of 6 months during which certain criteria like community service, restitution, and others must be met. Cases of juveniles that complete the program successfully with a clean record are closed.
- Juvenile Justice Department Detention - This involves detention at a facility where juveniles undergo behavioral therapy and complete required punishments before being released for a period of parole. Once successfully completed, the case is closed.
- Probation - This involves a sentence of probation where juveniles must follow a specific set of rules, complete community service, and other punishments while reporting to a probation officer in lieu of a regular trial and sentencing.
How Can Pretrial Diversion Help?
The point of pretrial diversion is to give honest juveniles a second chance after they have made a mistake and be allowed to avoid the substantial consequences of a conviction.
Criminal defense attorneys recommend pretrial diversion for many juveniles, as it focuses on helping minors learn to make better decisions in the future without saddling them with the lifetime sentence of a criminal record that can make living a normal life challenging.
Through pretrial diversion, juveniles can receive an appropriate punishment plus critical guidance, then continue on to hopefully lead productive, crime-free lives and stay out of the prison system.
Contact A Criminal Defense Lawyer to Discuss Pretrial Diversion
No parent is ever happy to learn that their child has engaged in criminal behavior, especially when that behavior results in an arrest.
With the assistance of a criminal defense lawyer who has experience representing juveniles and with pretrial diversion, it may be possible for your child to avoid conviction and a lifetime criminal record.
Reynaldo Garza, III - Attorney at Law
680 East St. Charles St, Suite 600
Brownsville TX 78520