Q: Summary retail theft. I reside in Mercer County PA. What steps do I need to take to enter a diversion program?
I live in a small community and have a pretty good name that is sure to be tarnished by this. I don't have a criminal record besides a few traffic tickets. This happened on 7/15. I have plead not guilty and am awaiting a court date. From what I understand I am eligible for a diversion program. Does this need to be filed or worked out before I go to court or is it done when I go to court?
I am also very worried about how this will affect all of my family, from my grand parents to my children. I understand there is no way to keep it out of paper. I would like to know what the paper is going to write and when it will be put out there. Can I find out what and when the information about my arrest will be released to them at the court house?
Generally requests to enter a diversion program are made pre-trial. Once you are arrested, that fact becomes public information. If you complete the diversionary program, you can usually then file to have the entire case (including fingerprints, mugshots, witness statements, record of arrest) expunged as if it never happened.
Please read more about Philadelphia diversion programs on my blog - http://linklawphilly.com/diversion-program-options-philadelphia/
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