Pretrial Diversion (PTD) is an alternative to prosecution which seeks to divert certain offenders from traditional criminal justice processing into a program of supervision and services administered by the U.S. Probation Service. In the majority of cases, offenders are diverted at the pre-charge stage or at any point prior to trial on a voluntary basis, requiring a signed agreement.
Participants who successfully complete the program will not be charged or, if charged, will have the charges against them dismissed; unsuccessful participants are returned for prosecution.
The major objectives of pretrial diversion are:
- To prevent future criminal activity among certain offenders by diverting them from traditional processing into community supervision and services.
- To save prosecutive and judicial resources for concentration on major cases
- To provide, where appropriate, a vehicle for restitution to communities and victims of crime.
- The period of supervision is not to exceed 18 months, but may be reduced.
The U.S. Attorney, in his/her discretion, may divert any individual against whom a prosecutable case exists and who is not:
1. Accused of an offense which, under existing Department guidelines, should be diverted to the State for prosecution
2. A person with two or more prior felony convictions;
3. A public official or former public official accused of an offense arising out of an alleged violation of a public trust; or
4. Accused of an offense related to national security or foreign affairs.