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How do I deal with a low-level misdemeanor?

Diversion.

If someone has been charged with a low-level misdemeanor, like underage drinking, theft, some disorderly conduct, they can keep their record clear by going through a program called diversion. When someone is under 18, the focus of the court system is rehabilitation. Usually, when an adult commits a crime, the focus is on punishment. The rehabilitation piece comes into play for adults when the crime is a low-level misdemeanor.

If the person has no record and has lived a penalty free life, the court may wish to keep their record clean so that they do not face the consequences of having a criminal record. The diversion program has to be signed off by the prosecutor.

When someone is dealing with a case of a low-level misdemeanor, and wants to participate in diversion, normally all they must do is admit to the charge, and sign papers that confirm. The court uses the admission as leverage to force the person in case they do not complete what they were supposed to do in the diversion program. If diversion is successful and completed, the case will be dismissed and expunged, removed from a person’s record. If diversion is not successful, the person who fails to complete it will be found guilty of the charge and sentenced.

When the admission is written, the person must hand it to the County Diversion Department and they will be assigned a court-supervised diversion to decide what the tasks are to rehabilitate the person. This could be as simple as, “Stay out of trouble for the next six months,” or community service, or paying court fines. When those things are completed by the end of the six months, the charge will be dismissed and taken off record. When something like that is expunged or sealed, it’s deemed to have never existed, and the record is completely clean.

Know this: if you complete the program and get another charge, it will be treated as a normal charge and cannot be put through the diversion program again, at least in Hamilton County.

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you think you could be eligible for diversion to clear your record, call the knowledgeable lawyers at The Farrish Law Firm, L.P.A. in the Northern Kentucky, Cincinnati, Ohio, areas. We believe in justice. Everyone deserves a fair shot at that because your rights are important. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to set up a free consultation call.