FAQ – Pretrial Diversion
- What is Pretrial Diversion?
Pretrial Diversion is a program designed as an alternative to the court system and as a prevention program from future participation in the court system. By successfully completing the program, the charges against you will be dismissed and you will have no conviction on your record.
- What are the goals of Pretrial Diversion?
- Provide a standard alternative procedure for handling adult/juvenile offenses in the county.
- Educate offenders about their choices and decision-making in a meaningful way.
- Help offenders make needed changes in behaviour, thus avoiding further law violations.
- Who qualifies for pretrial diversion?
Each case is considered on an individual basis by the County Attorney. Eligibility guidelines are available upon request.
- Why is it important that I don’t have a court record?
Appearing in court can be very stressful and expensive when considering attorney fees etc. Pretrial Diversion will not be “easy” but it will channel your efforts in a more positive direction than just punishment. Perhaps most important is the fact that a conviction from this offense should not appear on future post-secondary education applications, job applications, security/background checks, etc.
- How much does the program cost?
The first payment of $50.00 is due at the time of your enrollment, with payments of $25.00 per month for the remainder of your time in diversion. All out-of-state participants are required to pay an additional $150.00 for administrative fees. Some requirements have additional fees and you may need to pay restitution if applicable. All fees are subject to change without notice and are non-refundable.
- Is financial assistance available?.
Financial assistance may be available through the Seward County Diversion Office upon request by the participant.
- How long is the program?
Approximately six months to one year for misdemeanour offenses and up to two years for felony offenses.
- What are the program requirements?
The participant will need to complete a combination of educational classes and community service. If the participant lives within one hour of Seward, the participant can be required to attend the educational classes offered through Seward County Pretrial Diversion office. Educational classes for those participants that live more than one hour away from Seward will be determined at the time of enrollment.
A simple substance abuse and mental health screening can be conducted at your enrollment meeting. Due to the results of this screening, further requirements may include: a mental health assessment, counselling, substance abuse evaluation, etc.
- Can I consult with an attorney before enrolling in the Diversion Program?
Yes, you have the right to confer with an attorney before signing an agreement.
- Can I be terminated from the program?
Yes, if you do not complete the required conditions of your Diversion Agreement, you will be terminated and your case will be referred to the County Attorney. You will be terminated from the program if you commit another law violation while in diversion. In the event you are terminated from the program, all fees are non-refundable.
- Can I withdraw from the Diversion Program?
Yes, you can withdraw at any time from Pretrial Diversion. Any fees incurred are not refundable.
- Can my case be transferred to a Diversion Program in another county?
No, your case cannot be transferred to another county’s Pretrial Diversion Program.
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