Before someone can be considered for Diversion, the Criminal Division must first conclude that it is acceptable to “divert” criminal prosecution of the defendant charged.
If a defendant meets the eligibility criteria for the program, and the victim has no opposition to diversion, an Assistant District Attorney may refer the case to the Diversion Division. Once the file reaches the Diversion Division, the case will be reviewed and the requirements will be determined. After a case is accepted into the program, a letter will be sent to the defendant advising him/her of an appointment date and time. At the appointment the defendant will meet with someone from the Diversion Division, and all of the conditions and guidelines will be explained. Should the defendant agree to the terms, conditions, and guidelines, the defendant will enroll in the program.
While On the Program
While the defendant is on the program, he/she will be completing the required conditions and will be monitored for compliance. The defendant must be complying with the conditions and requirements set forth, must maintain negative drug screens and not be involved in any illegal activity. Failure to remain in compliance can result in immediate termination from the program, and the defendant will be immediately subject to prosecution.
Upon Successful Completion
Once a defendant completes all of the program requirements and his/her monitoring period has elapsed, the District Attorney’s Office will “DECLINE PROSECUTION”.
The District Attorney will refuse or dismiss the criminal charges, pending successful program completion. However, the District Attorney’s office does not have the defendant’s arrest record expunged. If a defendant wishes to have his arrest record expunged, it is his responsibility to do so after successfully completing the Diversion Program.
Advantages of the Pre-Trial Intervention Program
The Pre-Trial Intervention Program provides the defendant an opportunity:
- For positive self-development,
- To gain awareness to the consequences of future criminal behavior,
- To avoid additional expenses as related to criminal prosecution,
- To avoid a possible criminal conviction,
- To remain in the community with limited disruption to family life and employment,
- To get supervision to aid in deterrence of future criminal behavior,
- To have his/her charge(s) refused or dismissed by the District Attorney’s Office, should he successfully complete the program.
The goal for the Pre-Trial Intervention Program is to give the defendant a service plan structured to help the individual avoid behavior likely to lead to future arrests.
PLEASE NOTE: Exact requirements will not be determined until the Director of the Pre-Trial Intervention Program reviews the individual case. Typical conditions include fees, counseling, drug screen, community service. Conditions may be modified at the discretion of the Pre-Trial Intervention Program Director or the District Attorney.
- Cost of the program depends on the offense.
- Consideration will be given to defendants who cannot financially afford the program’s fees. Financial assistance DOES NOT waive any obligation to pay restitution. The waiver of or reduction of fees will likely result in an increase in the number of community service hours to be performed by the defendant.
All defendants participating in the Pre-Trial Intervention Program will be required to submit to random drug and alcohol testing.
You or your attorney may contact Diversion or the Assistant District Attorney handling your case at (985) 809-8383 and request that the file be referred to Diversion.
The District Attorney’s Office recommends you consult an attorney regarding your legal rights. However, you do not need to have an attorney to request or to enroll in the Diversion program. Call us directly should you want to request Diversion at (985) 809-8383 or email us at Diversion@22da.com.
We accept payment by credit and debit card. Please contact a Diversion Case Manager for login information to pay in this manner. We also accept Money Orders and Cashier’s Check.
To pay for enrollment fees and monthly supervision fees, please contact a diversion case manager to make payment by credit or debit card. Payment by Money Order or Cashier’s Check are to be made payable to “22nd JDC D.A.’s Office”. Payments should include your name, address, and case number. Your case manager will give you instructions on how to pay by credit card or debit card.
Payments for restitution shall be made by money order, payable to the victim. These payments still need to be submitted to the Diversion Division for processing and should also include your name, address, and case number.
Payments can be mailed to our Covington location or dropped off to any of our satellite offices. For information on Satellite offices, see the Contact Information tab. Also, payments may be made online by credit or debit card. Please contact a Diversion Case Manager for more information.
Yes. Enrollment into the Diversion Program does not waive any court appearances. As long as you are in compliance with the conditions of the program, your case will be continued. Failure to appear at any scheduled court date will result in bond forfeiture and attachment for your arrest.
You or your attorney can contact the division that is prosecuting the case to determine if you need to appear. Misdemeanor cases can contact the Misdemeanor Department. Felony cases should contact the prosecuting division. Slidell City Court cases should contact the Slidell Branch. If you have been served with a court date, you should appear in Court unless you are otherwise instructed by our Office or by the Court in writing.
All drug screens are observed and are due per instructions you will receive by email or text notification. If you have an extenuating circumstance and can provide proof of injury, illness, or death in the family, you can contact the Pre-Trial Intervention Program.
If you miss more than one payment and do not respond to our correspondence, your case can be sent back to court for prosecution. All payments due during a given month are late only if not paid by the last day of that month, unless you are instructed otherwise.
If you miss appointments and do not call Diversion in advance to re-schedule, your case will automatically be returned to Court.
Reinstatements are rare and can be costly as defendants must pay all fees once again.
It is a condition of your Diversion, to be monitored for the time period that was agreed upon at the time of enrollment.
Yes. However, you do have to come in to the DA’s office to enroll in the program. All conditions can be completed where you live. NOTE: You still have to appear here at the courthouse for all scheduled court dates, and conditions of your bond may prevent you from leaving the state. It is your responsibility to contact your attorney to file any motions necessary to leave the jurisdiction, should you have any restrictions relating to your bond.
Why Would a Person Need an Expungement?
The moment an individual is arrested by the police and taken into custody, that individual has a criminal history, even if the arrest does not lead to charges being filed or a conviction. The consequences of a criminal arrest or conviction can be severe and long-lasting. Employment opportunities, voting rights, access to government assistance, and financial aid for education and technical training can all be negatively impacted by the existence of a criminal records. There is a legal process for some criminal records to be expunged. To learn more as to whether you qualify and instructions on filing please visit the website of New Orleans’ Justice and Accountability Center. Click here for their online guide. And click here for their brochure. If you provide your email address they will send you information about how to continue with an expungement on your own.
If a participant does not have the funds or the ability to earn the funds necessary to enroll in Diversion, the participant can complete and submit to this office a Hardship Application for consideration. If the participant qualifies, the D.A. fees can be reduced or even waived or a payment plan can be developed. However, those participants who receive a partial or full waiver of their enrollment will likely be required to perform additional community service work in exchange for the assistance. The ability of a participant to maintain (or obtain) employment will be taken into consideration when granting any financial relief.
Please call the Diversion Office at (985) 809-8383 or email Diversion@22da.com to discuss this offer of fee assistance.
There are consequences to submitting a false Affidavit to a law enforcement agency.