What about diversion programs?
In Pima County, both of our court systems (county and city) and the University of Arizona all have diversion programs. Here are some basic facts about each of the three programs:
University of Arizona
The program is offered by the Dean of Students Office for currently enrolled U of A students who have been charged with misdemeanors by the UAPD. They must be first-time offenders and have been referred to the program by the UAPD, Pima County Attorney’s Office or Pima County Justice Court. Completing the diversion program (usually consisting of community service and education), results in the criminal charges being dismissed.
Tucson City Court
This program is offered to first-time misdemeanor defendants (there are some charges that are excluded). You will be referred by the Assistant City Attorney at your arraignment. Successful completion will result in the dismissal of the charge(s) against you.
Pima County Attorney’s Office
This program is offered to first and second-time misdemeanor defendants. The arraignment judge will refer you. Successful completion will result in the dismissal of criminal charge(s) against you.
Each of these programs is different, but they all offer those defendants who qualify a way to deal with a misdemeanor charge without risk of a conviction.
If at your arraignment, neither the judge nor the prosecutor mention diversion to you, and you think you might be eligible, speak up and ask. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.