Criminal Defense: Expanded Diversion Program in Riverside County

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Riverside County Explores Expanded Diversion Program

This week Riverside County District Attorney Paul Zellerback announced his plan to expand the Diversion program.  This would mean that people charged with certain misdemeanors could engage in classes, instead of jail time.  Upon successful completion of these classes, and upon the payment of all fines within 90 days, the persons case would be dismissed.

Currently, Riverside County has a Diversion program in effect for certain drug cases.  This means that the person pleads guilty, then enrolls in the diversion program.  Upon successful completion, the case is dismissed.  The reason the new program will be better is that the current program for the drug offenses is year long.  The new program will have options for offenses that only last 6 hours.

Pros for the Expanded Diversion Program in Riverside County


Case would get dismissed upon completion.  When the person completes the program (meaning the classes and fines), the case would be automatically dismissed.  The person would not need to file for expungement. The case would remain on file for court purposes, but would be removed for work or education purposes. 

Less time in court.  If the individual agrees to the diversion program, he or she will not be forced to spend more time in court, by going to multiple hearings.  The person would be able to agree to it right away, and go back after completion.  

Cons for the Expanded Diversion Program in Riverside County

Only certain misdemeanors would qualify.  The Riverside District Attorneys office is currently compiling a list of the charges which would qualify for the new, expanded program.  The list would consist of low level, nonviolent, nonserious crimes.  Currently, there is a diversion program for certain drug offenses.  This would expand the program.

Only certain people would qualify.   The program would only be applicable to people with no prior criminal history.  The aim of the diversion program is to keep first time nonviolent offenders out of jail.  They would take classes depending on the crimes alleged.  For example, anger management classes for certain anger based crimes.  The classes would be approximately 6 hours.

A private company would run the program.   This is both a pro and a con.  The pro is that the private company will run it efficiently and conveniently.  The individual will not have to go to a government run program.  The con is that the fees are paid to the company, who may not offer payment plans.  But, that is why the court will give 90 days for completion of the program. 

Read the article here.


Contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm, if you have any questions about Riverside County Diversion Program.

Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache

A Criminal Defense Firm

PO Box 3297

Palm Springs, CA 92262

Office: (760) 237-8295

Cell: (760) 668-8295

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