Criminal Diversion Programs in North Carolina
A criminal record is life-changing, and can compromise housing applications, gainful employment prospects, college admissions, and student loans, among other things. These difficulties impair convicted offenders’ abilities to become productive members of society and certainly make it harder to find a job.
Are you eligible for a criminal deferral program?
Enter criminal diversion programs. These valuable programs, usually geared towards first-time offenders, rehabilitate defendants, allowing them avoid a conviction upon successful completion of the program.
Adult Diversion Programs
There are a number of adult diversion programs available in North Carolina for minor or first-time offenses. Most programs are geared towards drug and alcohol offenses, but informal programs are available for other types of minor offenses as well.
Conditional Discharge 90/96 Program
North Carolina G.S. 90-96 allows for a dismissal of drug cases for defendants charged of certain first-time drug offenses, including possession of controlled substances or paraphernalia. To quality for this program, defendants must not have any prior drug convictions or other felony convictions.
Under this program, defendants are sometimes required to perform community service, pay court costs and fines, and complete a drug abuse assessment program and the required drug classes. If defendants complete these requirements within the approved time period and stay out of trouble the case will be dismissed.
Felony Drug Diversion Program
Defendants facing first-time felony drug charges may be eligible to participate in the felony drug diversion program. This program is much more extensive, and lasts a full year.
Defendants are required to sign an admission of guilt, submit to random drug tests, complete 225 hours of community service, meet monthly with a case manager, remain in school or employed, and avoid criminal convictions of any kind. Upon successful completion, the case will be dismissed.
Informal First Offender Programs
An informal first-time offender program may be an option for other first-time low-level offenses such as shoplifting. In this case, your defense attorney would make a deal with the Assistant District Attorney managing your case. These programs vary on a case-by-case basis, but often include restitution, community service, court fees, and potentially counseling. In Wake County these diversion programs usually involve 75 hours of community service.
In Wake County there is an option for some to do teen court to complete community service and participate in mock court sessions with other youthful offenders.
For many the goal is an expungement to clear all of your criminal records once the case is dismissed. We can talk to you about your eligibility for a North Carolina expungement when/if the case is dismissed.
Contact a North Carolina Diversion Lawyer
If you are charged with a crime in Wake County, North Carolina you can contact The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel for a free consultation. You may be able to enter into a deal that would lead to a dismissal of your case. You can reach a Raleigh Defense Lawyer at 919-585-1486 to talk about your possible options for a dismissal deal and then an expungement.