What Is the Ohio Diversion Program and How Could It Help You?
If you’re charged with a white collar crime in Ohio, you may face tough penalties, including fines and jail time. However, the state of Ohio provides for an alternative for individuals facing this tough sentencing: the Diversion Program.
Ohio’s Diversion Program, codified in the Ohio Revised Code Section 2935.36, allows for certain people facing white-collar and theft crimes to avoid traditional sentencing. If eligible, those in the program would plead guilty to the crime for which they were charged. Subsequently, the prosecution of that crime would be suspended during a probationary period while the defendant underwent the pretrial diversion requirements. This may include paying a fee, undergoing some type of victim restitution activities and taking offender classes. The requirements vary depending on the county and the alleged crime.
If the person successfully completes this program, the prosecution will dismiss the case. For practical purposes, this means the person will not have any record of a conviction, which for many people is a relief, as a record can affect employment and educational opportunities in the future.
The reason for this probationary option is that the Ohio criminal justice system is already backlogged. If a defendant does not seem to pose a risk, has never before been convicted of a crime and is unlikely to repeat the offense, prosecutors and courts are willing to accept an alternative penalty. For those facing prosecution, the benefits are obvious — an opportunity to avoid jail time and other serious consequences, as well as a criminal record.
If you are facing white collar criminal charges in Ohio, you may be eligible for the Diversion Program. Speak with a skilled Cuyahoga County criminal defense attorney at the Law Office of Gregory S. Robey to learn more.