A criminal defense attorney will fight for their client no matter what. Often, that might mean recommending to the court that their client be referred to a pretrial diversion program instead of going to jail. These programs can be effective and are worth a try in some circumstances. Here are five reasons criminal defense attorneys recommend pretrial diversion.
Education builds empathy and self-awareness
Criminal defense attorneys may argue for a pretrial diversion program so that their clients can learn to respect others without the hardship or stigma of incarceration. Defendants will participate in group sessions to discuss the impact of crimes on individuals and the community. This is an opportunity for defendants to see the effects of their actions from the perspective of someone who was harmed in some way.
Community service promotes hard work
Research shows boredom is a reason for both routine crime and major rebellious acts. So, the more bored a defendant is, the worst trouble they may find. Criminal defense attorneys may see opportunities for their clients to work, contribute, and learn to respect themselves and others. They may hope their clients can understand that they’re part of a community and expected to carry on a certain way.
Community service work might include working in homeless shelters and soup kitchens or cleaning public areas. Since community service must be completed over a set period, defense attorneys may argue that the temporary adjustment from criminal lifestyle to community service will be more effective in the future.
Avoiding negative behaviors and situations will increase rehabilitation chances
Defense attorneys will know if their client lives a lifestyle that increases the chances that they’ll commit more crimes. Should defendants place themselves around crime, drugs, people with bad reputations, or former co-conspirators, pretrial diversion programs will help them see that these old influences aren’t helpful for them.
According to the National Institute of Justice, recidivism means stopping the defendant from committing crimes, deterring them from doing so, and rehabilitating them afterward. For example, a defendant might require either mental health or substance abuse counseling so that the defendant has someone to speak with one-on-one. Defense attorneys may argue that this counseling might be more effective than incarceration.
Pleading guilty as a prerequisite establishes accountability
Pleading guilty could be required. The defendant would need to disclose the nature of the crimes and agree to certain conditions right away before being eligible for the program. Pleading guilty holds defendants accountable for their actions yet in a position to be rehabilitated. A criminal defense attorney Daytona Beach might counsel a client through this process prior to them pleading guilty.
Prolonged treatment provides opportunities for growth
Mental health and substance abuse counseling is meant to promote long-term personal growth. Consequently, the legal system may require more time spent in mental health treatment than someone who volunteered. This is done to ensure the defendant will not commit further crimes in the future.