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Alternatives to Conviction

Utah offers both adults and juveniles with alternatives to convictions allowing an individual to maintain a clear record after an unfavorable outcome.

Working with a criminal defense attorney, there is a possibility that you may be able to avoid court and utilize an alternative method. 


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Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law Alternative Resolution Attorney

Susanne Gustin has experience in alternative courts as well as in trial courts.  Susanne Gustin has represented clients in trial courts and the Utah drug courts.  She possesses the knowledge to work towards having a case moved to drug court for the possibility of lesser penalties.

If you are facing criminal charges, you need a qualified attorney to help you sort through your options.  Call Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law at (801) 243-2814 to set up your consultation.


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Alternatives to Conviction Information Center


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Utah Drug Court

Utah’s drug court program is geared towards adult and juvenile offenders.  This program is intended to serve as an alternative solution to the typical trial court set up. On average, this program typically takes anywhere from 12 months to 18 months.

Effective May 12, 2015, to qualify for the drug court program, the offender's needs and risk must be assessed and must meet the need requirement as determined by the judicial council. 

This program operates on “post-plea” model, meaning that participants must plead guilty to a drug-related offense and the plea is held in suspension until the program is completed.  Due to the required guilty plea, this is not the right choice for every type of client.


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Pleas in Abeyance in Utah

In a plea in abeyance, the defendant enters a plea of guilty or no contest. Instead of entering the plea as a conviction, the plea is held in abeyance or "put on hold."

If the defendant does not get into further trouble and complies with court-ordered activities (such as community service, drug or alcohol treatment, or anger management counseling), the charge is dismissed.

At that point, the person may then petition the court for an expungement. If granted, the conviction is erased from the person's record. Many juvenile crime cases can be resolved with a plea in abeyance or diversion as well.


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Application Process

To qualify for this program, an individual must be charged with a drug related offense, and have no history of violent offenses. Clients can apply with the Utah County Attorney’s Office.


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Drug Court Fees

Participants in the drug court program are required to pay drug court fees which cover random drug testing.


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Completing Drug Court

When a participant completes treatment and has a period of six months of negative drugs tests, he or she may be eligible for graduation. For probation drug cases, a participant may avoid prison time due to participation in the program.

Participants may also avoid the appearance of felony charges on their record. This is one of the biggest benefits to this alternative solution.


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Alternatives to Conviction Resources

Department of Drug and Alcohol Prevention and Treatment- Utah’s official website for information on drug court programs and prevention services
Utah Drug Courts- State website providing information on drug courts including lists of Utah drug courts, and presiding judges by district.


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Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law Salt Lake County Alternative Resolution Attorney

If you have been charged with a drug offense and you think drug court may be a viable option, call Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law at (801) 243-2814 for your consultation.

Susanne Gustin represents clients in Salt Lake County, Davis County, Syracuse, Farmington, Clinton, North Salt Lake, Centerville, and neighboring counties.