An arrest based on an alleged drug crime can derail a Tennessee resident's future. If the alleged criminal is young it may end their academic aspirations, terminate their career plans, and put an end to the hopes and dreams they have of living a happy life. This is all because a criminal conviction can stay on a person's record forever, thereby preventing that individual from achieving the life they want to live.
However, for some alleged drug crime offenders, certain programs may help them avoid the convictions and penalties that can curtail their futures. Often called drug diversion programs, these programs come into play after a person has been arrested for a drug crime but before a judgment is entered against them.
There are different types of drug diversion programs. Some allow individuals to avoid making pleas to their charges in exchange for them meeting certain program requirements, such as educational courses and community service. If they fulfill the requirements of their program, then their charges are dropped and they have no criminal record. Other drug diversion programs operate similarly but require individuals to enter pleas to their charges. Then, if they meet their programs' conditions their charges are dropped. The ultimate goal, of course, is to rehabilitate an offender rather than punish him or her
Drug diversion programs are not available for everyone and not all individuals may desire to utilize these programs when they are facing drug charges in the state of Tennessee. However, it is important that criminal defendants are aware of their rights and options so that they can make legal decisions that further their best interests. Working with defense attorneys who can advise them on opportunities like drug diversion programs can oftentimes benefit them as figure out the best path forward to combat the allegations levied against them.