One of the questions my law office receives most often is — am I eligible for pre trial diversion? In a previous post, First Time Offenders: Louisiana Pretrial Diversion Law, I explained how the Louisiana pre trial diversion process works. This post covers the specific eligibility requirements for entering the Pretrial Diversion Program of the 15th Judicial District (Lafayette, Acadia and Vermilion Parishes in Louisiana).
You can be eligible for pre trial diversion if you meet all of the following conditions:
- The criminal charge is considered a non-violent offense. The charge can be either a misdemeanor or a felony as long as it is non- violent.
- You have no prior felony convictions.
- You have one or no prior misdemeanor convictions.
- If you do have one prior misdemeanor conviction, it is not a drug charge or a violent charge. (i.e. previous charge cannot be simple assault, simple battery, simple drug possession)
- The current charge is not the same offense as your previous misdemeanor conviction.
- The prior misdemeanor conviction was not originally a felony charge that was reduced to a misdemeanor.
- You were not previously terminated or rejected from the Pretrial Diversion Program. However, if you were rejected due to the reason “unable to locate” — meaning that you could not be located because of a bad address — then you may be eligible.
- You did not already complete a pretrial diversion program. This condition applies whether you completed the program in the 15th Judicial District or any other jurisdiction. The only exception is if you completed the pretrial diversion program for the charge of Minor in Possession of Alcohol or Tobacco, then you can be eligible.
- You do not have any outstanding warrants or pending charges in the 15th Judicial District or any other jurisdiction. The District Attorney can decide to allow you into the program even if you have a pending charge, as long as you have no prior convictions, but this is at their discretion.
- You have the victim’s approval to enter the Pre trial Diversion Program.
If you meet the above criteria and would like assistance entering the Lafayette, Acadia and Vermilion Parish Pre Trial Diversion program, please call my office to set up an appointment. For a list of the Diversion Program’s fees and conditions for specific criminal charges, please see our Louisiana Criminal Defense Information page.