What to do if I was recently charged with a petty theft misdemeanor for $200 and would really like to go through the diversion program?

When I go to my court date how do I ask the judge if I can participate in the program? When they ask for my plea do I simply say, “Is there any way I’d be able to participate in a diversion program?”

Asked on October 9, 2014 under Criminal Law, California


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If you were arrested and charged with a crime then you are entitled to a public defender and I would indeed take advantage of that here if you can not afford an attorney on your own.  Prosecutors are likely to recommend you for a diversion program if you have no priors.  If you attempt to do this on your own then yes, ask the Judge at the court date and if the prosecutor says no (because he or she will make a recommendation), ask for an adjournment to get a lawyer.  

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