Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Feature Article

Exploring Diversion Programs Offered in Arizona

Getting arrested or charged with a crime in Arizona can be a frightening experience, which often involves dealing with law enforcement and the legal system. However, for some first-time or non-violent offenders, there is a way to avoid jail time through diversion programs offered in Arizona. In this article, we will discuss the different types of diversion programs, how they work, and what you need to know if you are considering participating in one.

Types of Diversion Programs in Arizona

There are several types of diversion programs offered in Arizona for different types of offenses, including:

  • Misdemeanor Diversion Programs
  • Felony Diversion Programs (formerly Drug Diversion and Felony PreTrial Intervention Program)
  • Domestic Violence Excessive Response Diversion (DVER)

Each program has its own requirements and eligibility criteria, so it is essential to understand which one is best for your situation.

How Diversion Programs Work

Diversion programs are designed to offer first-time or non-violent offenders the opportunity to avoid jail time by taking part in a program that focuses on rehabilitation and personal growth. Rather than going through the traditional legal process, defendants cooperate with the court, participate in education, counseling or treatment programs, and agree to complete a set number of hours of community service or pay restitution.

Successful completion of the program leads to the defendant's charges getting dropped, which means they will have no permanent criminal record. However, if a participant fails to meet program requirements, they might face incarceration, fines, or other legal penalties.

Who Can Participate in a Diversion Program

Diversion programs are not available to everyone. Typically, they are offered to individuals who have never been in trouble with the law or have committed a low-level, non-violent offense.

For instance, Arizona Misdemeanor Diversion Programs are designed for first-time, non-violent criminal defendants with charges such as Disorderly Conduct or Criminal Damage under $2500. In contrast, Felony Diversion Programs are for individuals charged with eligible drug offenses and other non-dangerous felonies. Domestic Violence Excessive Response Diversion programs assist those who feel they have been erroneously charged with domestic violence convictions, legally evaluate an allegation, and access information on conducting a proper criminal defense.

Program Requirements and Costs

Each diversion program has specific requirements and costs, including fees for program services, counseling, and treatment. Most diversion programs require participants to pay fees upfront, so it is essential to understand the costs associated with the program you are applying to before applying. In addition, participants must attend all required sessions and fulfill program requirements mentioned to avoid further probation or jail time. Keeping that in mind it's crucial to maintain the course till the end in order not to obtain any additional fees or fines.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding diversion programs in Arizona:

  • Can You Attend a Diversion Program if You Have a Criminal Record?
  • How Long Does a Diversion Program Last?
  • What Happens if You Don't Complete a Diversion Program?
  • Can You Get a Job After Completing a Diversion Program?
  • Is a Diversion Program Worth it?

How A Criminal Defense Attorney can help

Choosing the right diversion program to participate in and navigating through the legal process involves a lot of complex decision-making. A criminal defense lawyer can help you understand which particular diversion program is right for you and help prepare an application to increase your chances of getting into the program. Criminal defense lawyers can legally help guide you through the diversion program process if any complications or issues arise.

If you or a loved one is in legal trouble and considering a diversion program or other legal options, it is essential to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to determine the right course of action.


Diversion programs are an excellent way for first-time offenders to avoid jail time by participating in education, counseling, or treatment programs. There are different diversion programs offered in Arizona for various offenses, including Misdemeanor Diversion, Felony Diversion, and Domestic Violence Excessive Response Diversion. Understanding the requirements and costs of each program is critical when deciding which one to participate in, and considering that you should seek legal guidance from a criminal defense attorney to maximize your chances of successfully completing the program.

Diversion Programs-Arizona