Arrested for the first time? You may be eligible for what is called diversion, a chance to have your charges removed from your record.
TCA 40-35-313, commonly known as the diversion statute, offers eligible individuals a chance to have a clean slate. In order to be eligible for diversion, a person must have no prior convictions for Class A misdemeanors or above. You can also only use diversion once in your life.
How Diversion Works:
Pursuant to TCA 40-35-313, person can admit guilt of certain criminal offenses, but a conviction for the offense is deferred on the condition the person completes probation successfully. Once an individual who has taken advantage of diversion completes his or her probation period and pays off all fines and/or costs, he or she can have the charges dismissed and expunged (removed) from his or her record.
If you have taken advantage of the diversion program, the expungement does not happen automatically! You must have the proper order signed and filed and pay an expungment fee to the court clerk.
Who is eligible?
In order to determine eligibility for diversion, you must submit an application to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), along with a $100 fee, so that the TBI can send a certificate of your eligibility for diversion. If you have never been arrested before, there is a good chance that you will be eligible for diversion. However, certain offenses, including, but not limited to, DUIs and certain felony offenses are not eligible for diversion.
Diversion is not automatic – just because a person is eligible for diversion does not always mean they will be granted diversion. If you want to take advantage of diversion, a skilled criminal defense lawyer like Nichole Dusche can help you try to get that second chance.
If you are a first time offender, call attorney Nichole Dusche today at 615-861-1298.