1) I believe that the diversion program that has recently been put in place in Riverside is used for misdemeanor pleas. I could be wrong, but I have yet to see an infraction dispo get the diversion referral.
2) It is not pre-plea, but it is pre-sentence. So the defendant enters a plea of guilty and is diverted in lieu of sentencing. If diversion is unsuccessful, the matter proceeds to sentencing accordingly.
3) I am not familiar with an on-line option for the class component. Again, I could be wrong and invite correction.
Any statements I make in these forums (fora?) should not be taken as direct legal advice, merely informed guidance. This is true due to the anonymous nature of this venue, and the incomplete information which is invariably provided by the questions. It is imperative that you consult directly with an attorney regarding your specific situation before acting on or relying on anything represented here. Period.
If you complete the program your case will be dismissed. No there is no online class.
Mr. Driessen is a former Deputy DA in Orange County with over 8 years of criminal law experience. Nothing stated on this site shall in anyway be construed as legal advice, or as creating any attorney client relationship. If you would like to hire Mr. Driessen, feel free to contact him at www.theocduiguy.com.
The answers depend quite a bit on the facts.
1. Normally, one is not eligible for diversion unless the offense is a first-time offense (the client has no prior criminal history), the value of the items stolen is low (less than $300) and the defendant is young. While there is no bright-line limit on age, I have found age 23 about the limit.
2. This can be pre-plea, but it is usually entered into after one enters a plea of no contest, only to have it withdrawn upon completion of the class (and the case either dismissed or reduced to an infraction).
3. There is an online shoplifters class at National Association of Shoplifting Prevention. For a fee of about $40, one can take a three hour class online and upon completion, receive a certificate of completion.
Greg Hill, Greg Hill & Associates