In Kansas, someone charged with a crime can enter into a diversion agreement rather than go to trial. In this agreement, a defendant stipulates (in effect, admits) to the charge and agrees to certain conditions in exchange for not going to trial and possibly being convicted.
If the agreement is completed successfully, the charges will be dismissed and will not appear on the defendant's record. If the agreement is not successfully resolved, the prosecutor can use the stipulation to obtain a guilty verdict without need of a trial.
Common terms include paying for the diversion, for court costs and not committing any more crimes. In the case of a driving under the influence (DUI) conviction, the defendant will likely also undergo a drug and alcohol evaluation and will have to comply with the resulting recommendations. The diversion program usually lasts six to 12 months.
Defendants must apply for diversion. If the application is accepted, a diversion agreement will be sent within two weeks. In the case of a DUI, defendants must get an alcohol and drug evaluation and send a copy to the county attorney within two weeks.
Fees for the program can run from $50 to $500, depending on the offense.
Diversion programs are usually only available to first offenders. Other factors taken into account are the nature of the crime, whether there are multiple counts or victims and the preferences of the victims.
Jeffrey Whitten started writing in 2009, with expertise in politics and government. His work has appeared in the "Independent Appeal." Whitten has a Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy in political science from the University of Southern California.