Allen County’s Forensic Diversion Program Provides Treatment Instead of Jail
Allen County’s Forensic Diversion Program provides an alternative to jail for defendants arrested on non-violent drug charges. Forensic Diversion Programs provide services to adults with mental illness or addiction disorders who have been charged with a crime. A defendant who enters the forensic diversion program will receive treatment and other services as an alternative to incarceration. An experienced Fort Wayne criminal defense lawyer can determine whether a defendant is eligible to apply for the program.
Pre-Conviction Forensic Diversion in Allen County, Indiana
Pre-conviction forensic diversion provides an opportunity for a criminal defendant to avoid conviction. To be eligible for pre-conviction forensic diversion, a person must be diagnosed with addiction or mental illness and be charged with a non-violent misdemeanor or Class D felony that is eligible for misdemeanor treatment. To qualify, a participant cannot have a conviction for a violent offense in the past ten (10) years, must be determined by the court to be appropriate for the program, and must be accepted into the pre-conviction forensic diversion program.
Once a person has been determined to be eligible, he or she must plead guilty to the charged offense, but the court will withhold judgment pending successful completion of the program. Upon successful completion of the program requirements, the court will dismiss the defendant’s charges.
Post-Conviction Forensic Diversion in Allen County, Indiana
Post-conviction forensic diversion programs also require a qualifying diagnosis. Eligibility includes defendants charged with non-violent, non-drug dealing offenses. The person must also have no conviction for a violent offense in the past ten (10) years, must be determined by the court to be appropriate for the program, and must be accepted into the pre-conviction forensic diversion program.
Once a person has been determined eligible for the post-conviction program, the court may suspend the person’s sentence on the condition that he or she successfully complete the program. If a person’s conviction is not eligible for suspension, the court may stay the execution of the non-suspendable portion of the sentence pending successful completion of the forensic diversion program. After successful completion, the court is required to waive execution of the non-suspendable portion of the sentence.
A Fort Wayne Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help Determine Eligibility for Forensic Diversion
Allen County has established the Allen Circuit Forensic Diversion Court to provide sentencing alternatives to individuals with mental illness and substance use disorders. The program is supervised by Allen County Community Corrections and employs regular judicial oversight and specific sentencing plans for participants.
If you are arrested for non-violent criminal charges, and you have substance abuse or mental health issues that need to be addressed, it’s important to know what programs and services are available. Addicts belong in treatment and not jail. If you are arrested on drug charges in Fort Wayne, you may be able to avoid jail time by entering the forensic diversion program. If you’re facing criminal charges, contact Gibson Law Office for a free consultation with a Fort Wayne criminal defense lawyer.