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Pretrial Diversion Offers First Time Offenders Hope Without Prison Incarceration!
White collar criminals-if you commit a federal crime you may not have to do the time. Pretrial diversion, an alternative sentencing procedure, offers eligible first-time offenders a second chance. No prison time and they maintain a clean record!
By: Robin Stover, Federal Prison Consultant
Although the details of the pretrial diversion program may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, individuals arrested for the first time are given an option of keeping the crime off of their record without having to go to trial. Pretrial diversion is a program for certain first-time offenders to avoid being marked by a felony conviction for the rest of their lives. Pretrial diversion is known by a multiplicity of names, such as pretrial intervention, good behavior, withheld adjudication, and deferred prosecution.
“The program works something like this”, stated Robin Stover, a Federal Prison Consultant with the Prison Consulting Group, “A first time offender who is charged with a criminal offense of a relatively minor nature and who appears to be an individual who is not likely to be a repeat offender may be given the option of pretrial diversion.” If the defendant accepts the offer, then he will enter a plea of guilty to the criminal offense. The judge however will not enter an order of guilty in the case. The defendant is not guilty until the judge actually issues an order finding him guilty. At this point the defendant is in limbo between pleading guilty and being convicted.
Stover went on to say, “Rather than find the person guilty, the judge will withhold his order of guilt initially and place the defendant under certain restrictions similar to probation or supervised release.” The defendant, by complying with the terms and conditions of the pretrial diversion agreement, will have the charges dismissed. He will not be convicted of the crime and will not go to federal prison. This enables someone who made a one-time foolish mistake to get another chance at life with a clean record and not be scarred by a term in a federal prison.
The pretrial diversion program accomplishes certain goals for both the defendant and the prosecution. First, it provides a vehicle for more expedient restitution to the victims of the crime. If the defendant serves time in prison his hourly wage is $0.12 per hour and the payment of restitution or fines is a long, long process. Secondly, it deters future criminal behavior by diverting first time offenders from a traditional prison term to community supervision and the performance of services. The defendant realizes he was very close to going to prison and will act more responsibly in the future by getting his second chance. Finally, it allows federal prosecutors to concentrate on major cases and those high profile cases that advance their careers. In most cases, the period of supervision or probation does not exceed eighteen (18) months.
Robin Stover also stated, “A defendant, in order to get into the pretrial diversion program must meet certain criteria. The Prison Consulting Group knows the criteria and can prepare an initial evaluation or review for a defendant to determine his eligibility.”
In times when the Department of Justice has a 97% guilty plea rate in federal criminal cases and federal prosecutors have over a 75% conviction rate following trial and 91% of federal criminal defendants receive a prison sentence, isn’t it in a federal defendants best interest to call a reputable Federal Prison Consultant and determine if he is eligible for pretrial diversion or an alternative sentencing mechanism. I know if I was facing federal prison, I would!
More information on this subject and other forms of alternative sentencing can be found on Robin Stover's website, http://www.prisonconsultinggroup.com.
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Robin Stover is a nationally recognized Federal Prison Consultant and the founder of the Prison Consulting Group (PCG). As a Federal Prison Consultant with PCG, Robin is recognized as an authority in pre-and post-conviction strategy, positioning, preparation, and education. Robin is knowledgeable in all facets of federal prison life and with the Bureau of Prisons' (BOP) rules, regulations, and program statements.
PCG prepares clients for admission to the 500-Hour Residential Drug Abuse Program which offers up to a 12 month sentence reduction and a 6 month halfway house designation. We also provide assistance with designations, judicial recommendations, transfers, furloughs, A R Appeals, Second Chance Act submissions, MINT program requests, restitution, ICE issues, and the BOP's Compassionate Release and Commutation of Sentence Program.
Prison Consulting Group offers the prison preparation course titled, "How to Survive Federal Prison", go to http://prisonconsultinggroup.com.