If you are facing a criminal charge in or around Dayton, OH, then your case will likely be under the jurisdiction of the Montgomery County Common Pleas Court. Prosecutions for crimes alleged to have occurred in Montgomery County are handled by the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office.
The prosecutor’s office has the authority to allow diversion for certain first-time nonviolent offenders to allow them to keep a clean criminal record.
The Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office has a separate diversion division that specifically handles the approval and oversight of cases granted diversion. For other cases, the Montgomery County Common Pleas Court may enter an order granting intervention in lieu of conviction, another method to allow people charged with crimes to keep a clean criminal record.
Diversion is a program for nonviolent, first-time offenders who the prosecuting attorney believes won’t re-offend.
The establishment of a pre-trial diversion program is not required of prosecutors, but a prosecutor’s office may establish a pre-trial diversion program to allow eligible first-time adult offenders the opportunity to have their case dismissed at the end of a period of probation. Those agreeing to diversion will also be released from confinement and have any existing bail extinguished.
Ohio law allows for the establishment of diversion programs under the Ohio Revised Code, O.R.C. Section 2935.36.
The information listed in this section outlines:
- Who may be eligible for diversion
- How pre-trial diversion programs are granted, and
- How the charges are ordered dismissed at the end of successful completion of probation.
The prosecutor has to agree that an offender is eligible for diversion and must request the court to allow the offender to agree to diversion with the prosecutor and the court.
What Are the Requirements to Be Granted Diversion?
The first and most important requirement to be granted diversion is that the alleged offense did not involve violence or physical harm. The main focus of any diversionary program is that of public safety.
The prosecutor’s office will generally refuse to consider any crimes of violence or physical harm for diversionary treatment unless several requirements are met. So, if you’ve been arrested for homicide, sexual assault, or a weapons offense, diversion won’t be on the table. On the other hand, diversion may be an option for a first-time non-violent drug possession charge or a petty theft charge.
The prosecutor may allow an individual accused of a crime of violence to enter a pre-trial diversion program if the prosecutor finds any of the following:
- The offender did not cause, threaten or intend serious physical harm,
- The offender is not likely to re-offend,
- The offender has no prior history of delinquency or criminal activity,
- The offender has been a law-abiding citizen for a substantial period, or
- There may be some sort of justification for the criminal offense.
To determine whether or not you might be eligible for diversion, it is important that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney. For cases that are not eligible for diversion, another possibility to keep a clean criminal record is being granted intervention in lieu of conviction.
Intervention in Lieu of Conviction Explained
Intervention in lieu of conviction is reserved for nonviolent offenders who allege that alcohol or drug use was a factor leading to the criminal offense charged. Intervention can also be granted for individuals suffering from mental illness or intellectual disabilities.
Ohio law allows for an individual to be granted intervention in lieu of conviction under Ohio Revised Code, O.R.C. Section 2951.041.
The information listed in this section outlines:
- Who may be eligible for intervention in lieu of conviction,
- The terms under which a court can grant intervention in lieu of conviction, and
- How a court is authorized to dismiss charges at the end of successful completion of probation.
A prosecutor does not have to agree to intervention in lieu of conviction for it to be granted by the court. A court may hold a hearing to determine whether or not to grant intervention in lieu of conviction for any given case.
What Are the Requirements to Be Granted Intervention in Lieu of Conviction?
To be eligible for intervention in lieu of conviction, an offender must first allege that alcohol or drugs were a factor leading to the commission of the offense charged. Many additional requirements must be met for a court to grant intervention in lieu of conviction. An offender is eligible to be granted intervention in lieu of conviction only if:
- The offender has not previously been convicted of any violent felony,
- The offense charged is not a first-, second- or third-degree felony,
- The offense charged is not a crime of violence,
- The offense charged is not a crime of vehicular manslaughter,
- The offense charged is not a crime of vehicular assault,
- The offense charged is not a crime of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and
- The offense charged is not trafficking or possessing certain drugs.
If a court grants intervention in lieu of conviction, the court will place the offender on probation for at least one year and will impose a variety of conditions and requirements. If the offender completes probation successfully, the charges will ultimately be dismissed by the court.
Montgomery County Diversion Program & Statistics
The Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office maintains a diversion division that consists of a director, three investigators, and a clerical specialist. To be considered for diversion offenders must be nonviolent and admit responsibility to the crime and compensate any victims.
At the successful conclusion of a diversion program, an offender’s charges will be dismissed, and the offender can seek to have their arrest records sealed as well.
The Montgomery County Diversion Division, on average, screens over 800 cases annually for diversion and approves just under 350. Nearly 70% of people approved completed diversion successfully. The diversion program has also resulted in nearly $500,000 in restitution paid annually.
Do I Qualify for Diversion or Intervention in Lieu of Conviction?
The best way to answer this question is to speak to an experienced Ohio criminal defense attorney. We offer a free consultation so you can have your legal questions answered by an experienced professional.