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Do I Qualify For Diversion?

If you are reading this article, it may be because you’ve heard that if this is your first offense, then you may “qualify” for diversion. What exactly does this mean? I’ll answer this question and give you more of an insight into how the process actually works.

What is Diversion?

Diversion programs are programs offered by prosecutor’s offices that allow the defendant to successfully complete the conditions in exchange for a dismissal of the charges.  These programs have nothing to do with the judge.

How Do I Qualify for Diversion?

“Qualify” is actually the incorrect term when referring to diversion. There is a serious misconception out there that if you “qualify” for diversion, then you can get in and get the case dismissed. This couldn’t be more incorrect.

First of all, every prosecutor’s office operates differently. Some prosecutor’s offices don’t even have diversion programs or some may have it but don’t offer diversion for DWI such as the Bossier Parish District Attorney. They have different requirements for entry into their diversion programs, and different requirements in the program. You must keep in mind, in every city or parish, there is a different district attorney or city prosecutor. Additionally, the head prosecutor has assistant prosecutors assigned to the case that make the decision to offer diversion.

Prosecutors may state that they have minimum requirements to “qualify” for diversion such as a clean record. However, that is simply to even be considered in the first place. If the defendant has a clean record, then the prosecutor will look at many more factors surrounding the case such as if there was an accident, the blood alcohol content, any victims, how obnoxious the defendant was at the arrest, restitution, etc.

It is strictly in the prosecutor’s discretion to offer diversion based on many factors. So, stop reading all the nonsense on the internet that says you can qualify for diversion if you have a clean record. Having a clean record is only the beginning. If the prosecutor doesn’t like an aspect of your case, you won’t get offered diversion.

How Can I Get Diversion?

The smartest way to go about this, especially if you have a charge such as a DWI, drug possession, or theft, is to hire a defense attorney to help you. The reason is that those charges are detrimental to your future. Also, there are many aspects of those charges that lead to prosecutor’s denying diversion as an option.

Our attorneys know how to present the case to the prosecutor to increase your chances of getting diversion. We start by examining the case and looking for possible weaknesses and arguments to make to the prosecutor which can help to lead him to offering diversion. Also, we know how to advise you after the arrest regarding treatment, classes, and other aspects of you so that we can present those circumstance to the prosecutor to increase your chances of getting into diversion.

Contact us if you need our help. We handle DWI cases in all areas of Louisiana.


Louisiana DWI & Criminal Lawyers

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Louisiana criminal lawyers and DWI attorneys at the Barkemeyer Law Firm providing legal defense services for clients in Baton Rouge, Ascension, Livingston, Tangipahoa, Port Allen, Alexandria, New Orleans, Lafayette, Metairie, Kenner, Gretna, Hahnville, Chalmette, Slidell, St. Tammany, St. Charles, St. John, St. Bernard, Mandeville, Covington, Shreveport, Bossier, Jefferson, and all of Louisiana.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is not formal legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.

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