DoI need a lawyer ifI qualify for judiciary diversion?

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DoI need a lawyer ifI qualify for judiciary diversion?

And if I don’t qualify, can I get a simple possession charge expunged?

Asked on October 11, 2010 under Criminal Law, Tennessee

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Since diversion is only offered to first-time offenders, you may want an attorney to represent you here.  They may be able to get the case dismissed.  If so, you will then have the opportunity to use diversion in the future if you are unfortunate to once again find yourself on the wrong side of the law.

Try to find a criminal law attorney in the area where all of this occurred.  They will be able to use their contacts with the local court to your best advantage.

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

First of all, I would never enter in to any agreement with anyone without first consulting with an attorney.  If it is a criminal matter and you can not afford one then under the 6th amendment you get one appointed on your behalf.  But knowing a little about judiciary diversion is important for you to help yourself.

Under Tennessee law, a defendant may be entitled to enter a plea subject to this statute that allows diversion and be eligible at some time in the future to expunge the case from their criminal record. However, diversion is only available for genuine first time offenders. Even a plea to a seemingly small matter, such as driving on a suspended license years ago, can keep a defendant from being eligible. Additionally, the legislature has prohibited some crimes from being eligible from diversion based on their nature. These crimes include serious felonies and DUI related charges. Domestic assaults and even aggravated assaults (felonies) may be eligible for expungement. The only conditions associated with such a plea is that the entire sentence be suspended and the defendant placed on probation and the probation be completed without any violations or problems. Then of course you have to get the required documents frmm all parties to actually obtain an expungement when you become eligible.  Good luck.


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