Massachusetts Pre-Trial Diversion Programs
There are a number of different ways to prevent a criminal charge or arrest from every appearing on your record. One them that I’ve used successfully a number of times is called a pre-trial diversion.
What is a Pretrial Diversion?
Under Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 276a, there is a provision for a pretrial diversion. A judge is allowed discretion to allow a criminal charges to be diverted directly to a community service or other program.
When you complete the program or service required, the criminal case is dismissed before it is ever arraigned. Therefore, no record of your criminal charge, or even the fact that you were arrested will exist!
We can request a pretrial diversion at an arraignment date by filing a motion, affidavit, and memorandum to divert the case to a program or community service.
Who is eligible for a pretrial diversion?
To be eligible for a pretrial diversion in Massachusetts, you must:
- Be between the ages of 17-21
- Be accused of a first offense, misdemeanor charge, such as minor in possession of alcohol, drug possession, traffic violation, shoplifting, or anything other than a violent crime.
If you don’t meet these criteria, there are other options to deal with criminal charges, including contesting the evidentiary grounds for arrest at a show cause, or clerk’s hearing.
Free consultation on Pretrial Diversion Programs and other Criminal Defense Strategies
If you are facing a criminal charge in Massachusetts, and feel that a pretrial diversion program might be the right solution for you, call me now to discuss your exact situation and I’ll let you know what I think, and what I can do to help.