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Diversion or Trial?

By Hager & Schwartz, P.A.

February 20, 2013

Our firm handles many misdemeanor and felony cases for first offenders of our criminal justice system. Throughout the handling of these cases, one common question typically is asked. Should I accept a diversion program, which would result in a dismissal of the case should all of the required conditions be completed or go to trial? The next question is can I have this case expunged from my record? These are typically easy questions to answer.

However, what if you exercise your Constitutional right to a trial? The answer is not as easy. The reality is that if the State Nolle Prosses (dismisses) your case because of a lack of evidence or completion of a diversion program, your case can be expunged. However, if a Judge or Jury acquit you due to a lack of evidence, the answer is no. In other words, if the State finds little evidence and dismisses case, you can expunge, however if a judge finds little evidence and dismisses the case, you can not. Does not seem fair, does it? Welcome to our State Criminal Justice System.

Our attorneys at Hager & Schwartz, P.A. have extensive experience in these types of cases and can advise you on how to handle and answer these types of questions.