Drug charges can be quite serious. Depending on the type and quantity of the drug alleged to be involved, as well as the activity an individual is accused of undertaking with that drug, the penalties can be harsh. Those who are convicted of a drug offense, even possession, can face jail or prison time as well as the imposition of hefty fines.

One way to avoid these penalties is to seek out and complete a pretrial diversion program. These programs generally include some sort of substance abuse treatment as well as monitoring of sobriety. Individuals must meet certain requirements to qualify for a pretrial diversion, such as no previous drug-related conviction within the last five years, the accused offense did not involve violence, and a lack of felony convictions within the last five years.

The prosecutor must notify an accused individual and his or her attorney if pretrial diversion is an option. That notice must clearly state how the pretrial diversion program works, including the fact that if certain requirements are met and successful completion of the program is obtained, the charges may be dismissed. On the other hand, though, noncompliance with the pretrial diversion program may lead to a request to terminate the program and re-implement the criminal proceedings.

Pretrial diversions are a great option for those who qualify. It can help an individual who is struggling with substance abuse issues obtain education, treatment, and rehabilitation while at the same time giving him or her the opportunity to avoid penalties that can wreak havoc on his or her life. Of course, this option isn’t right for everyone, and in some cases an individual simply won’t qualify. In these instances, it’s of crucial importance to have a strong criminal defense ally on one’s side to protect one’s interests and fight back against claims made by aggressive prosecutors.