Criminal Justice Diversion
If you are going to court for the first time and intend to plead guilty, talk to the informantA person who lays an information, i.e. a criminal charge (q.v.). Usually a police officer. about the Criminal Justice Diversion Program (‘CJDP‘).
If you are eligible and you complete the program, a CJDP means you won’t get a criminal record.
A diversion plan can include conditions like:
- You must not be commit any offences in a certain period of time;
- You must write a letter of apology to the victim;
- You must make a donation to a particular charity;
- You must engage in counselling, participate in a program, or other rehabilitation treatments.
- The informantA person who lays an information, i.e. a criminal charge (q.v.). Usually a police officer. makes the decision about whether to recommend you for the diversion program; then
- The Diversion Coordinator considers this recommendation and advises the Magistrate about whether it is a suitable option; lastly
- The Magistrate makes the final decision about whether or not you will be given a diversion.
Because you have to take responsibility for the offence (plead guilty), always speak to a lawyer before contacting the informantA person who lays an information, i.e. a criminal charge (q.v.). Usually a police officer..
For more information about the Diversion Program and the process for being considered see:
- Victoria Legal Aid – https://www.legalaid.vic.gov.au/find-legal-answers/going-to-court-for-criminal-charge/possible-outcomes-for-criminal-offences/diversion-programs
- Magistrates’ Court of Victoria – https://www.mcv.vic.gov.au/find-support/diversion
See also: Impact of a criminal record