Treatment in Lieu of Conviction
Treatment in lieu of conviction is a program where eligible offenders have the opportunity to obtain dismissal of charge(s) after completing court-ordered treatment. To be eligible for this program it is necessary that the offense took place as a result of drug/alcohol use of the offender, mental illness, or an intellectual disability. There are, however, other restrictions that apply that prevent some offenders from applying for this program. If the offense is of F1, F2, or F3 status or is a violent crime, the offender may be ineligible.
What does the process look like?
If you are interested in pursuing this option speak with your attorney to see if you meet the criteria. If your attorney agrees that you meet the criteria they can file an application with the court. By submitting your application you waive the right to a speedy trial to allow for investigations to be undertaken. Once the application is filed, the attorney will appear before the court to express interest in this option. Upon hearing the offender’s interest and acknowledging if he/she is eligible the Judge will refer the case to probation. Probation will perform assessments on the offender to test for eligibility. At the completion of the investigation probation will provide the Court with a written report of the results. This process can take four to six weeks.
During the assessments, the probation department will interview the offender on his/her background, history of substance abuse and mental illness, and the pending charges. Throughout the investigation there are several instances in which the offender may become ineligible. If the offender denies committing the crime, denies drugs/alcohol usage or mental illness as a factor, or becomes uncooperative, the offender is disqualified from the program.
In the case the offender is ineligible he/she must plead guilty and a trial date is set. If the offender is found to be eligible, he/she will plead guilty and the court will hold the file. Any violation of the conditions of his/her treatment will result in the offender being brought back to court for sentencing. If the offender successfully completes the program he/she can immediately go before a Judge to expunge their record.
If you are interested in treatment in lieu of conviction contact Attorney Can at our offices or by email at email@example.com to discuss your eligibility.