Connecticut Pretrial Diversionary Programs

Dealing with the criminal justice system is often a frightening experience. Part of this is by design. The idea is the unpleasant experience will hopefully serve as a deterrent for crime. However, the criminal justice system also seeks to rehabilitate. Connecticut has set up a variety of pretrial diversionary programs to achieve this goal. While these programs are not guaranteed to be offered, participating in and successfully completing them could result in a full dismissal of an individual’s criminal charges. Here is a list of some available pretrial diversionary programs in Connecticut. Scroll down and see if there is a program that may be able help you, and schedule a time to discuss your case with a criminal defense attorney.

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A criminal defense attorney can help negotiate access to pretrial diversionary programs and save you from a criminal record.

Accelerated Rehabilitation (AR)

Accelerated Rehabilitation is designed for individuals charged with crimes or motor vehicle violations which are not serious, but could carry a sentence of imprisonment. An individual must apply for AR, and there is a fee associated with both the application and the program itself. An application for this program can be found here. If granted, the offender will be under the supervision of the Court Support Services Division (CSSD) for up to two years. However, if the program is successfully completed, the charges will be dismissed. Generally, AR is only available once, so it is important to consider whether utilizing AR is the best decision in light of the charges you are facing. If you are wondering if AR is a viable option for you, speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney. 

Alcohol Education Program (AEP)

The Alcohol Education Program (AEP) is designed for individuals charged with driving a motor vehicle or a boat under the influence. It is important to note, this program is not available for individuals holding a commercial driving license or driving a commercial vehicle. An application for AEP can be found here. If an individual applies for AEP, his or her court file will be sealed. CSSD will evaluate the individual  to determine program eligibility, and he or she will be required to participate in 10 or 15 counseling sessions. The Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) will determine how many counseling sessions are appropriate. There is a fee to apply for this program, a fee for the evaluation and a fee for the counseling sessions. Additionally, the Court may order the individual to participate in a victim impact panel. If he or she successfully completes this program, his or her charges will be dismissed. Like AR, the AEP generally can only be used once. More information regarding DUIs is available on our blog here. If you are charged with operating a motor vehicle or boat under the influence, you should speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney. 

Pretrial Drug Education and Community Service Program 

This program is for individuals who have been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, less than four ounces of marijuana, or small amounts of narcotics. An application for this program can be found here. Unlike AR and the AEP, this program can be used up to three times, although the third time may require a showing of good cause. The program includes a mix of substance abuse classes, drug treatment and community service. The requirements may change depending on how many times an individual has used the program. If an individual successfully completes this program, his or her charges will be dismissed. For more information regarding this program, schedule a meeting with a criminal defense attorney. 

CT Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission (CADAC)

CADAC is for individuals with more serious drug crimes than the Pretrial Drug Education Program addresses. It is a very important program, because it favors treatment over incarceration. In order for an individual to avail themselves of this program, he or she must make a showing of drug addiction at the time of the offense. Generally, this program has two tracks, either pre-conviction or post-conviction. The pre-conviction track is used for less serious offenses. The individual will participate in drug treatment programs, and if successful, his or her charges can be dismissed. If the charges are more serious, the Court may require the individual to plead guilty first. After a plea is entered, the case will be continued for the individual to get treatment before sentencing. If the individual is successful with treatment, he or she can receive a suspended sentence. However, if the individual fails to participate and comply with treatment, he or she will likely face incarceration. If you were charged with a drug crime and are drug dependent, discuss your case with a criminal defense attorney to determine if you may be eligible for the CADAC program. 

Family Violence Education Program (FVEP)

FVEP is for individuals charged with domestic violence crimes. The application can be found here. If the Court grants this program, the individual will be under the supervision of the family violence intervention unit of the CSSD for up to two years. He or she must obey the conditions set by the Court. If the individual finishes the assigned program successfully, the charges against the individual will be dismissed. If you are charged with a domestic violence crime,  make an appointment to speak with a criminal defense attorney and see if the FVEP is right for you. 

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