Diversion is an opportunity provided by the criminal justice system for first-time offenders to avoid a finding of guilt.
There is some criteria that you must satisfy if you wish to obtain a Diversion for your criminal matter. You must acknowledge responsibility for the entirety of the offending and it must be an offence that the Court and the Police consider appropriate. It is very unusual to receive Diversion a second time.
To receive a Diversion, there are two levels of confirmation required.
Firstly, you must have the support of the police officer who is in charge of your case (also known as the informant). If the informant is supportive of a recommendation of Diversion, they will provide a "Diversion Notice". This should be obtained before your Court date.
Secondly, you must attend Court and participate in a Diversion interview with the Diversion Coordinator. This will involve a discussion of your reasons behind the offending, your personal circumstances and any lessons you've learnt as a result of the process.
Once you have completed that interview, the matter is then brought before a Magistrate to consider the application. This is not done in Court but in the Magistrates' office in your absence. The Magistrate will then either approve your application, reject it, or require further submissions in Court by your legal representative.
If successful, the Magistrate will place you on a Diversion Plan which will likely involve conditions you need to complete in order to achieve the Diversion. These may include a donation to a charity, a letter of apology to the victim or a promise to continue any treatment you're receiving.
If you complete your conditions by the date provided by the Court, you do not need to attend the Court and the matters will be struck out.
It is important to note that you will receive no criminal record or finding of guilty against you.
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