Criminal Enforcement : Pretrial Diversion

The Howard County Pretrial Diversion Program has been established by the Prosecutor's Office and is designed to work with those persons charged with a misdemeanor. This program is for people who have had little or no criminal background and who are charged with committing various misdemeanor offenses. If you are offered and accepted into the Diversion Program, your case will be dismissed after a period of one year (thereby avoiding a conviction) as long as the requirements and conditions of your specific agreement have been fulfilled.

Eligibility

Generally speaking, the defendant must not have a previous criminal background and must currently be charged with a misdemeanor offense. Eligibility for the program is determined by the deputy prosecutor assigned to the case. Eligibility is also determined on a case-by-case basis. Not all people charged with the same crime may be found eligible for the program. All previous charges, arrests, diversions and convictions must be reported to the deputy prosecutor assigned to the case. Failure to do so will result in the case being ineligible or being immediately terminated from diversion.

General Conditions of Diversion

Generally, all cases that are diverted will be pending for one year. During that time, the defendant may be required to:

  1. Pay a fee for the diversion program and court cost of $168.00.
  2. Pretrial Diversion Fees are as follows: Misdemeanor -- $170 ; Marijuana (first offense) -- $500
  3. Agree to obey all local, state and federal laws. Also, agree not to be arrested or commit any criminal offense.
  4. Agree to complete any special conditions of the Agreement.
  5. Waive your right to have a trial within one year of the date that the case was filed.
  6. Agree to support your dependents and meet family responsibilities.
  7. Agree to be gainfully employed, actively seeking employment, or maintain a full-time course of study.
  8. Agree to report to the Probation Department as directed.
  9. Agree to truthfully answer all reasonable inquiries posted by the Howard County Probation Department, Diversion Coordinator, or agent.
  10. Agree to report any contact with law enforcement within 24 hours.
  11. Report any change of address or telephone number within 7 days.
  12. Acknowledge that failure to comply with the terms and requirements of this Agreement will result in the Prosecuting Attorney proceeding with this matter. Failure to comply will also result in forfeiture of any payment made to the Howard County Pretrial Diversion Program.
  13. Acknowledge that by signing the Agreement that the Defendant is admitting the truthfulness of the charges against him/her and is acknowledging that such admission may be used against him/her if there is a resumption of the prosecution of these charges by reason of termination from the Pretrial Diversion Program.