Criminal Justice Diversion
If you are going to court for the first time and intend to plead guilty, inquire with the A person who lays an information, i.e. a criminal charge (q.v.). Usually a police officer. (the police officer who charged you with an offence) about the Criminal Justice Diversion Program.
The Diversion Program could see you avoid a criminal record if you are considered eligible and complete a diversion plan.
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 or other rehabilitation treatments
The A 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. The Magistrate then makes the final decision about whether or not you will be given a diversion.
Because you have to take responsibility for the offence, always speak to a lawyer before contacting the A 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