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Guilty plea for diversion

Memphis, TN |

I know one must first plead guilty before even being able to apply for diversion. If they aren't approved, what happens to the guilty plea? Are they just sentenced for it, or can they take it back?

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Attorney answers 2


There are two types of diversion, pre-trial and post-conviction (judicial). You are speaking of the latter. You should send in the TBI request immediately regardless. If it is found that you don't qualify your sentencing would be as normal. Keep in mind that qualifying for diversion doesn't impact the sentence the judge gives you per se, theoretically he is still going to give the same sentence.

Once a guilty plea is entered and the judge goes over your rights and responsibilities, etc. by pleading guilty, you are locked into it. That's why you need to get your TBI form in ASAP even if you need to ask for a continuance.

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If you are in a criminal proceeding, you must have an attorney. If not get one. You should not be this far along without an attorney. Please speak with your attorney.

If this is just a interested person question; then, judicial diversion is a sentence given by the court. The process usually begins by requesting pre-trial diversion which is granted at the DA's discretion. Assuming rejection (that is appeal proof); then, before making the plea the defendant petitions the Court giving it all the information it needs to make a decision. The Court will then likely hear from the DA and determine eligibility. The Court's decision can be reviewed as abuse of discretion (so can the DA's regarding pretrial diversion). Assuming the Court finds that the Defendant is eligible it will indicate as much. Then an open plea of guilt is made, a sentencing hearing, and the Court sentences the Defendant to diversion and whatever other terms it finds fitting and legal. A plea of guilt can be retracted, but would need to occur before being sentenced.

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