In the mid-19th century, many people’s attitudes towards crime and punishment began to change across the United States. Attorneys, judges, and juries began to focus on rehabilitation and addressing social issues in addition to penalizing people who committed criminal offenses. By the late 1960s, this shift in perspective had created a new kind of judicial tool known as pretrial intervention.
Pretrial intervention (also known as pretrial diversion) may be offered to first-time offenders accused of non-violent crimes. If defendants choose this option, they waive their right to a trial and instead undergo a program that is meant to help them rather than punish them. To learn more about pretrial diversion and whether it is an option for you, contact the Champaign defense attorneys of Bruno Law Offices by calling (217) 328-6000.
The Pretrial Intervention Process
If a defendant agrees to a pretrial intervention, he or she submits a plea of guilty to the charges he or she is facing. However, the judge will refrain from issuing a court order that officially finds the defendant guilty. Instead, the defendant will enter a rehabilitative program known as intervention. If he or she successfully completes the program, the criminal charges will be dropped.
During the program, which may last from one to three years, the participant will be monitored and may need to submit to random drug testing. In addition, he or she will need to complete certain programs designed to identify and address problems in his or her life. These may include:
- Assessment for drug abuse or addiction, and treatment if necessary
- Psychological counseling
- Adherence to a curfew
- Education about the law and legal system (potentially including visits to prisons)
- Completion of at least a high school education
If you have been accused of a nonviolent crime, an intervention program could help you get your life back on track. Our Champaign criminal defense lawyers can provide further information about these programs and their requirements.