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Pretrial diversion on my criminal record?

Tucson, AZ |

I have been researching pretrial diversion in Tucson City Court. I have been told that you first have to enter a guilty plea and then after completing the terms for diversion, they dismiss the charges. My question is will this be on a criminal record? For application questions that ask "have you ever been convicted..." would the proper response be yes or no?

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Attorney answers 4


You would not be convicted, because the judgment has been deferred. If you fail to complete or violate the terms, the judgment is entered with no opportunity to defend against the charge, and you are convicted (at that point).


Only the arrest will be on your record. You can answer that you have never been convicted.


You are asking a good question because many people are confused as to why they have to plea guilty before going through diversion. The State usually will require you to enter a plea of guilty so that in case you do not complete diversion, or fail to meet all the requirements, they can call you back and request that the Judge enter judgement of guilt without having to take you to trial or negotiate a plea.

As far as your question goes, the proper response would be no because the court has not entered judgement on your guilty plea. If you complete diversion successfully, the judge will not enter judgement and you will not be convicted.

John Kelly
Kelly Law Team


There is no question that if you successfully complete the diversion program you will be able to truthfully answer "no" on any application questions. Having said that, background checks are more and more often showing records of court dismissals. Indeed background checks also often show arrest records, even if you were never charged in Court. Therefore it is possible, depending on the background check company, that it will show the charges were dismissed. Be careful on questions that ask "if you have ever been arrested or charged." For these questions, despite the diversion program, you must answer yes.

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