First Time Offender Diversion Program

 Facing conviction for any type of crime in the state of Utah can be stressful. If a first-time offender been arrested for operating a vehicle while on drugs or alcohol, they may inquire about Utah’s diversion program. The program for first time offenders is a way for a defendant to avoid the full effects of a criminal conviction. The purpose of the program is to focus on rehabilitation rather than punishment. 

Getting charged with a crime can disrupt a person’s life for years, making it hard for them to obtain employment or a place to live. With this in mind, Utah County Attorney David Leavitt decided to create a diversion program that would allow nonviolent offenders to avoid jail time if they fulfill certain requirements. If they completed all the terms and conditions of the program, they could have their charges reduced to dismissed.

Utah Diversion Program Attorney | First Time Offender Salt Lake City Lawyer

If you have been charged for a violent crime in the state of Utah and would like to inquire about Utah’s diversion program for first time offenders, contact Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law. Criminal defense attorney Susanne Gustin carries over 30 years of experience defending individuals charged with domestic violence charges, drug crimes, sex crimes and more. She will work with you to determine if you qualify for a diversion program.

Attorney Susanne Gustin represents clients in Salt Lake County, Davis County, Sandy, South Jordan, Mount Olympus, Alta, Holladay, South Salt Lake, Herriman, East Millcreek, Cottonwood West, and neighboring cities. She is prepared to work tirelessly for you in minimizing your charges. Your first consultation is free of charge, so call (801) 243-2814 to schedule yours today.

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Information Center

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What is the Diversion Program for First Time Offenders in Utah? 

The diversion program for first time offenders in Utah is an alternative to jail/prison. The purpose of the program is to offer the defendant an alternative to prison/jail and instead focus on rehabilitating them through counseling and other services. The diversion program is voluntary and the offender is rewarded with the reduction or dismissal of charges instead of a prison term if they complete the program.

The diversion program serves several purposes in the state of Utah. For one, it provides restitution to victims of certain crimes. It also aims to prevent future criminal activity by addressing the offender’s root issues. Participation in the diversion program for first time offenders lasts between 1 to 2 years. Defendants who do not complete the program will be removed and must face their charges.

To be eligible for the program, the defendant must not have prior state or federal convictions concerning drugs. They can participate in the diversion program only one time. 

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Salt Lake County Diversion Program Levels

The diversion program for first time offenders launched on July 30, 2019. Since then, the program is helping low-risk offenders from becoming high risk. The program intervenes at the following four different levels of the criminal justice process, according to each offender’s risk assessment:

  • Level One: During the first level of intervention, the suspect must receive a low-risk assessment. Level one begins before a case is filed and applies to crimes that range from nonviolent misdemeanors to third-degree felonies. This level does not apply to domestic violence, sexual assault or DUI cases.
  • Level Two: Secondary level intervention begins when a defendant is charged with a nonviolent misdemeanor or third-degree felony that involves restitution. The program lasts from six to nine months, and the charges will be dismissed upon completion.
  • Level Three: Offenders evaluated as a low to medium risk will enter the third level of the diversion program after they have already accepted a plea in abeyance. The charges will be dismissed after completing the 12-to-36-month program.
  • Level Four: Defendants with a history of drug use who have been convicted of a crime that does not involve sexual violence or physical violence against a person with a weapon will enter the fourth level of the diversion program.

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Collateral Consequences for Crimes in Utah 

Although most first-time offenders Utah are aware that committing a crime can result in steep fines and prison time, they often forget about the crime’s collateral consequences. Aside from steep fines and jail time, it’s important to note there are several additional penalties a person can face. For example, it may be difficult for someone to find work because future employers may not hire someone based on their criminal record.

 A conviction can also result in the inability to obtain a professional license and loss of civil rights. It could even hinder a first-time offender’s ability to obtain a home loan or even approval for an apartment. If you’ve been accused of any type of crime in Utah, the best thing to do is to contact a criminal defense attorney and inquire about the diversion program. 

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Additional Resources for Utah Diversion Program

Utah Code: Crimes – Click the link to view the official Utah Code. The webpage lists all of the different types of crimes Utah penalizes. You’ll also be able to see how what elements constitute each offense, their consequences, and definitions to terms. 

Utah County: Alternatives to Traditional Prosecution – Visit the official Utah County webpage to view alternatives to traditional prosecution. The website lists current diversion programs used by the Utah County Attorney’s Office. These include mental health court for adult felonies, drug court for juveniles, citation diversion unit for juveniles, and drug court for juveniles.

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Salt Lake City Attorneys for Diversion Program for First Time Offenders

If you are interested in learning more about the diversion program for first time offenders in Utah, we suggest you contact Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law. Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law has over 30 years of experience defending clients charged with all types of crimes. Attorney Susanne Gustin will fight aggressively on your behalf.

Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law accepts case all throughout the state of Utah. She also defends individuals in Salt Lake and Davis County, West Valley City, West Jordan, Sandy, Taylorsville, South Jordan, Layton, Bountiful, Clearfield, Kaysville, and Syracuse. Call (801) 243-2814 to obtain a free, confidential initial consultation and to have Susanne Gustin review your case.

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