Pretrial Diversion

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
PRETRIAL DIVERSION PROGRAM

What is pretrial diversion?

Pretrial diversion is a program utilized by the U.S. Attorney's Office to defer prosecution of individuals who have been initially charged with a criminal offense and who meet the U.S. Attorney ' s criteria for such referrals. The Pretrial Services Officer receives these referrals, and after an investigation to confirm the information provided by the U.S. Attorney's Office, prepares a report under the agreement with the U.S. Attorney ' s Office regarding the suitability for diversion. Title 18 U.S.C. § 3154(10) authorizes the Chief U.S. Probation Officer (or Chief U.S. Pretrial Services Officer in those districts with a separate U.S. Pretrial Office) to enter into a pretrial diversion agreement with the U.S. Attorney's Office for their district.

For a detailed description of those who would not be eligible for this program, please refer to the U.S. Attorney's criteria. Those who have two or more felony convictions are excluded. For those who have only one prior felony conviction, that conviction must be non-violent, non-drug related and have what is referred to as a “special exception” of the U.S. Attorney's Office. Addicts are also an excluded population as are current and former public officials accused of offenses arising out of an alleged violation of public trust.

The term of supervision begins on the day that the diversion agreement is signed. The length of diversion is normally twelve months in length. After twelve months an evaluation of the individual's success in the program takes place. If restitution continues to exist or there are other matters that remain unresolved, the term of diversion may be extended an additional six months thereby bringing the total to eighteen months.

Those with additional questions regarding the pretrial diversion program should contact one of the officers assigned to that unit.