Diversion

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Program Overview:

The Pre-Trial Intervention Program, also known as Diversion, is offered predominantly to first time offenders as an alternative to prosecution. The Pre-Trial Intervention Program is strictly voluntary and is offered to defendants after an Assistant District Attorney reviews the case and determines that it meets the defendant eligibility criteria. The program has been modeled after the Louisiana District Attorney Association’s DIversion Standards and is designed to meet the needs of offenders in attempt to: 

  • Deter their future criminal or disorderly behavior,
  • Minimize loss to victims of these crimes through earliest payment of restitution by the offender,
  • Serve the courts by reducing the number of less serious offenses, permitting more time for the more serious crimes, and
  • Protect the community by closely supervising the accused until a final disposition has been determined.

The prosecution of the criminal charges is delayed during the length of the program after a participant completes all of the conditions of the program, the pending charges dismissed. Conditions of the program vary from case to case, but typically include an enrollment fee, monthly supervision fees, counseling, drug screens and community service. Other conditions may be set by the Pre-Trial Intervention Program Director.

For those who qualify, financial assistance may be available. 

Contact

Collin Sims – Director of Diversion

Diversion@22da.com

St. Tammany – 985-809-8383 – ask for a Diversion Specialist
Washington – 985-839-6711- ask for a Diversion Specialist

Conditions
FAQs
Expungement
Fee Assistance

Diversion’s Partnership with Northshore Tech Community College

In an effort to expand options for participants to better themselves, Warren Montgomery’s Diversion Program has partnered with Northshore Tech Community College to create an educational opportunity for low-risk offenders who are eligible for the Diversion Program.  Diversion participants who wish to continue their education through Northshore Tech Community College may do so as an alternative condition in the Diversion Program.   From earning high school diplomas, certifications and/or degrees, NTCC has something for everyone both in a classroom setting, online or a combination of the two. The college’s staff will work with the potential students to identify financial assistance and guide them in their career endeavors.   The Diversion Program will hold participants / students accountable for reaching educational milestones.  Northshore Tech has relationships with hundreds of companies and will assist qualified students in finding employment.  For more information about Northshore Tech, please visit their website at  https://www.northshorecollege.edu/.  For more information about Diversion, feel free to contact our staff at 985-809-8383.

Enrollment Process

Before someone can be considered for Diversion, the Criminal Division must first conclude that the defendant is eligible.

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. 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 Case Manager will contact the defendant by phone, mail, email or through the defense attorney. At the appointment the defendant will meet with the Case Manager, 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, 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 subject to prosecution. All fees that have been paid are non-refundable. 

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 the arrest record expunged, it is the defendant’s 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 of the consequences of future criminal behavior,
  • To avoid additional expenses as related to criminal prosecution,
  • To avoid a possible criminal conviction, that could impact future employment.
  • 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 or she successfully complete the program.

 Program Goals

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.


Conditions

CONDITIONS

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 screens and community service. Conditions may be modified at the discretion of the Pre-Trial Intervention Program Director or the District Attorney. 

 Financial
  • 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. 
Drug Testing

All defendants participating in the Pre-Trial Intervention Program will be required to submit to random drug and/or alcohol testing.


FAQs

How do I request my case be considered for diversion?

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.

Must I hire an attorney in order to request my case be considered for the Diversion program

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.

What forms of payment do you accept?

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 whom do I make my Money Order/Cashier’s Check payable?

For enrollment fees and monthly supervision fees, please make payments 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 need to be submitted to the Diversion Division for processing and should also include your name, address, and case number.

How do I turn in my payment?

Payments can be mailed to our Covington location or dropped off to one 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. 

If I enroll in the Diversion Program, do I still have to go to court?

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.

If I have completed Diversion, do I still need to appear at my next court date?

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. 

Can I get an extension on my drug screen?

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 I am late on a payment, will I be penalized?

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. 

I missed my first diversion appointment, how do I get a new one?

If you miss appointments and do not call Diversion in advance to re-schedule, your case will automatically be returned to Court.

How do I request reinstatement?

Reinstatements are rare and can be costly, as defendants must pay additional fees.

Can I get off of diversion early?

It is a condition of your Diversion to be monitored for the time period that was agreed upon at the time of enrollment. 

Can I participate in the Pre-Trial Intervention Program if I live out of the jurisdiction?

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.


Expungement

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. 


Fee Assistance

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.