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 will refer the case to the diversion department. Once the file reaches the diversion department, the case will be reviewed and the requirements will be determined. After a case is reviewed and the defendant 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 department, 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 must not be involved in any illegal activity. Failure to remain in compliance will 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”. If the case was sent to diversion prior to a Bill of Information being filed, the District Attorney’s office will refuse the charge(s).
If the case was sent to the diversion department after a Bill of Information, the District Attorney’s Office will dismiss the criminal charge(s) by way of “Nolle Prosequi”.
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 Pre-Trial Intervention 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.
- Enrollment Fee
- Monthly Fee
- Random Drug Screens
- Substance Abuse Program
- Hours of Community Service
- A certain number of hours of Voluntary Probation
- Anger Management Program
- Restitution for Damages
- Cash restitution to the Victim(s
- Shoplifting and Theft Offense Program
- Mother’s Against Drunk Driving Meeting
- Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory
- Driving Improvement Program
- Hunter or Boater Education Course
- And other conditions as the DA deems appropriate
ALL OTHER UNIDENTIFIED CRIMES will be reviewed upon their referral to the Pre-Trial Intervention Program. Requirements will be set based on case facts.
PLEASE NOTE: Any of these conditions may be modified at the discretion of the Pre-Trial Intervention Program Director or the District Attorney. Exact requirements will not be determined until the Director of the Pre-Trial Intervention Program reviews the individual case.
- Cost of the program depends on the offense.
- Consideration will be given to defendants who cannot financially afford the program’s fees. However, should the defendant request for the financial obligations of the program to be waived or reduced, he or she will be required to provide proof of income by submitting copies of the last two (2) years tax returns. A reduction or waiver of the Pre-Trial Intervention Program’s fees DOES NOT waive any obligation to pay restitution.
All defendants participating in the Pre-Trial Intervention Program will be required to submit to random drug testing.
At this time, we only accept payment in the form of Money Orders or Cashier’s Check.
Payments for enrollment fees and monthly supervision fees are to be made payable to “22nd JDC District Attorney’s Office”. Payments should include your name, address, and case number.
Payments for restitution should be made payable to the victim. These payments still need to be submitted to the Pre-Trial Intervention Department 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.
Yes. Enrollment into the Pre-Trial Intervention Program does not waive any court appearances. As long as you are in compliance with the conditions of the program, you case will be continued. Failure to appear at any scheduled court date will result in bond forfeiture and attachment.
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.
All drug screens are mandatory and are due by the date on the letter. 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.
There are no penalties for a payment that is late. However, if you miss more than one payment and do not respond to our correspondence, your case will be sent back to court for prosecution.
Your attorney must contact the division handling the case and request that the file be referred to PIP for an appointment letter.
Your attorney must contact the division handling the case and request that the file be referred back to PIP for another appointment letter.
Your attorney must contact the division prosecuting the case and request that the case be reviewed for reinstatement.
It is a condition of your diversion to be monitored for the time period that was agreed upon at the time of enrollment. However, you may submit a written request for early completion. The request should include the reason why you wish to be completed early. All requests will be reviewed by the program director.
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 at 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 convication. The consquences of a criminal arrest or convication 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. Click here to learn whether you qualify and instructions on self-filing.
The District Attorney Warren Montgomery, through his Pre-Trial Intervention Program (PIP)/Diversion Division, offers each and every participant the opportunity to apply for a reduction in the enrollment fee charged to participate in the program. Specifically, 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 Financial Affidavit for consideration. If the participant qualifies, the enrollment fee 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 that assistance.
Please call our office at (985) 809-8383 to discuss this offer of fee assistance.