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How do drug diversion programs work?

On Behalf of | Feb 9, 2018 | Drug Charges

This blog has on previous occasions reported how even people who hold steady jobs and live what seems to be an upstanding life wind up getting in to trouble for possession of or even selling illicit drugs or prescription drugs that were not obtained lawfully.

Indeed, many people in the Tampa area are quietly struggling with drug addiction as they go about their lives, and no one really knows it until they get arrested on drug charges. Unfortunately, a conviction on these charges can cause a person’s life to spiral even more out of control, as a conviction could mean jail time, probation, and perhaps more importantly, the loss of key professional and personal opportunities that can help keep a person out of the addiction cycle.

Fortunately, many courts in the area offer what can generically be called drug diversion programs. While the rules and processes of each program may be slightly different from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, the basic idea is that a first-time offender who ran in to some relatively minor drug trouble can get a chance to keep a conviction off of his or her record.

Generally speaking, if a person signs up for a diversion program, he or she will be expected to do things like attend counseling, stay out of all legal trouble and submit to regular drug testing. If he or she completes these and other requirements, the end result is that they will not have to deal with a conviction on their records or, at a minimum, will receive a very light sentence.

On the other hand, failing the program usually means the person will face a harsher punishment and will have a very hard time taking the case to trial, since admission of guilt is often one of the prerequisites for getting in to the program.