One moment of poor judgment can lead to a lifetime of consequences. And that is especially true with theft & fraud crimes in Ohio.
In Ohio, shoplifting, for example, is a first-degree misdemeanor that could result in up to 180 days in jail. The degree of the theft is determined by the dollar value of what was stolen. As a result, if the value reaches a certain amount, the theft of one item could lead to felony charges. However, if it is your first offense, Ohio law does provide an option to help you avoid the worst legal outcomes by participating in a theft diversion program.
To discuss your eligibility for a theft or shoplifting diversion program in Ohio, contact the experienced Columbus defense attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates. Call (614) 500-3836 to schedule a free consultation.
Pre-Trial Diversion Programs in Columbus
The Ohio Revised Code allows for pre-trial diversion programs as an alternative to trial. A pre-trial diversion program can be set up by the prosecuting attorney for adults who are accused of criminal offenses and whom the prosecuting attorney believes will probably not offend again. This type of program is ideal for first-time theft charges.
If you enter and successfully complete a pre-trial diversion program the charges against you can be dismissed.
Pre-Trial Diversion Eligibiltiy
Eligibility for pre-trial diversion and the exact details of the program are determined by the prosecuting attorney and approved by the judge. Generally, a diversion program functions as probation where the defendant must obey all laws and agree to monitoring and drug testing for a predetermined period.
However, there are requirements for pre-trial diversion beyond meeting the terms of the program. A defendant must agree in writing to waive certain rights including the right to a speedy trial. In addition, the defendant must agree in writing to pay any reasonable fee for supervision services established by the prosecuting attorney.
Why Participate in Theft Diversion
If you successfully complete the specified pre-trial diversion program, the prosecutor will recommend that the charges be dropped. The court will typically dismiss the charges based on the prosecutor’s request. This can keep a conviction off your record, along with all the resulting consequences. On the other hand, if you fail to complete all the terms, the court can then bring you to trial on the original charges.
A Columbus Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help
If you find yourself facing a theft charge in Ohio the consequences of a conviction or even a plea can follow you for the rest of your life. You could be punished with heavy fines and time in jail, but the impact of a criminal conviction on your ability to find employment can be even more damaging.
A theft diversion program can help you avoid those negative consequences. But you want an experienced Columbus criminal defense lawyer to help make sure that you can get into and complete a pre-trial diversion program.
Call LHA for a Free Consult
The skilled Columbus criminal defense attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates have helped numerous clients face a wide range of theft cases and are familiar with all the pre-trial diversion programs available throughout Central Ohio.
Let our knowledge and experience ensure one bad decision does not follow you for the rest of your life. Call us today at (614) 500-3836 for a free and confidential consultation.