A Guide to Connecticut's Criminal Pretrial Diversionary Programs

Posted by Tamar BirckheadJun 05, 2023

Even if you or a loved one has never been arrested before, it can happen.  Maybe it's for a fight that escalated into something physical.  Maybe it's for a misunderstanding in a store that led to a larceny charge.  Or maybe it's for an incident that stemmed from an alcohol or drug problem.  Whatever the scenario, if you have no prior criminal record, you should talk to your lawyer about applying for one of Connecticut's pretrial diversionary programs. 

There are at least eight such programs in the state, but the most common are Accelerated Rehabilitation (“AR”); the Pretrial Family Violence Education Program (“FVEP”); Pretrial Drug Education and Community Service Program (“DECS”); and Pretrial Supervised Diversionary Program for Persons with Psychiatric Disabilities and Veterans (“PPDV”).  Each has different eligibility and program requirements, including fees for the application, participation, or evaluation (which can be waived if you are indigent), and each must be approved by the court.  If the court grants your participation, the criminal prosecution is suspended and you will be ordered to participate in treatment, counseling, classes, and/or community service.  If you successfully complete the program, the court dismisses the charge; if the program is not completed or a condition of the program is violated, you must return to court to face the criminal charge by virtue of a trial or a guilty plea. 

Whenever you are charged with a criminal offense, securing high quality legal representation is essential.  If a pretrial diversionary program is appropriate, your defense attorney will explain the options, help you complete the application, and prepare you for questioning by the judge.  Your lawyer might also prepare a legal memorandum with supporting documents to submit for consideration by the court, and once your application is approved, your lawyer will assist you in following through with the program's requirements.

Our experienced and highly-skilled attorneys consistently succeed in persuading judges to grant our clients' applications to participate in one of Connecticut's criminal pretrial diversionary programs.  For more information about this topic or other criminal defense questions, please contact Attorney Tamar Birckhead at Birckhead Law LLC.