State Court Criminal Diversion Programs
One of the most important topics and most common questions I receive concern alternatives to prison, also known as Diversion Programs. There are a number of diversion programs in state criminal courts across Oklahoma. Some of these programs are under the District Attorney’s power of deferred prosecution. In deferred prosecution, the District Attorney dismisses your criminal case upon your acceptance into an applicable diversion program. Generally, you will sign a contract agreeing to participate in the diversion program and advising you, if you are unsuccessful in the diversion program, including being charged with a new crime, your criminal case with be refiled and you will be dismissed from the diversion program. Some Veteran’s diversion programs fall under deferred prosecution, including Oklahoma County. The majority of diversion programs in Oklahoma are based on entering a plea to your criminal charges prior to being admitted or accepted into the specific diversion program. When a criminal defendant enters the majority of diversion programs a contract is signed that includes the benefit of participation in the program, including: your charges being dismissed upon successful completion, not serving jail or prison time, and receiving/participating in treatment options. In the unfortunate event a criminal defendant fails one of these diversion programs, he or she will be sentenced based on the contracted signed prior to entering the program and may be sent to jail or even prison. Diversion programs are run by individual counties, which means each of the 77 counties in Oklahoma have their own procedures for: applying, admission, and completion of diversion programs. Your criminal defense attorney can assist you in applying and entering into Oklahoma Diversion Programs in your county. Although, failure in either type of diversion program described above may result in being incarcerated, the majority of participants in these programs would being facing jury trial or prison, if they did not agree to participate in these programs. Successful completion in almost any diversion program results in the case being dismissed. Please see a detailed explanation of the most common diversion programs in Oklahoma below:
Veterans Diversion Program
Veteran diversion programs, including the Oklahoma County Veteran’s Program is only available to service members who currently or previously served in the United States military. This diversion program is intended to prevent Veterans from serving jail or prison time, while receiving treatment and regiment. Veteran diversion programs are one of the few programs that accept violence offenders. The service record of every potential participant must be collected and reviewed prior to admission into any veteran diversion programs. This is usually accomplished by the program submitting a DD-214 request to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Upon service verification, the participant will attend formation for the veteran program; participate in treatment; and participate in job counseling. All veteran diversion programs aim to reestablish order, mental health, address substance abuse issues, and assist veterans return to productive lives. You should discuss this diversion option with your criminal defense attorney, if you have served in the United States military, including the National Guard and you are facing criminal charges in Oklahoma.
Drug Courts and DUI Courts are the most common diversion programs in Oklahoma. The authority for Drug Court and DUI Court is found at OKLA. STAT. tit. 22 § 471 et seq. These programs are comprehensive treatment programs intended to divert individuals away from prison or jail, while helping them to obtain abstinence from alcohol or drugs and treatment to address the issues they are facing. Participation in these programs is voluntary and includes drug tests, court appearances, treatment, counseling, and job requirements. At least 73 of the 77 counties in Oklahoma offer drug court diversion programs. The benefits of participating in diversion is obvious, eventual dismissal of your case; however, the consequences are equally apparent. Failure of DUI/Drug Court will result in incarceration. It is important to ensure you understand the terms of your DUI Court or Drug Court contract, because it will lay out the sentence you will receive, if you do not successfully complete the program. Although the goal of these diversion programs is abstinence from drug/alcohol use, program staff and judges understand abstinence is a process and these diversion programs allow for mistakes, with consequences, prior to being kicked out of the program and being sent to jail. You should discuss this diversion option with your criminal defense attorney, if you are facing a DUI or Drug charge in Oklahoma.
Mental Health Court
Mental health plays a role in the lives of a large percentage of Oklahomans. It is estimated that fifty-five percent (55%) of all Oklahoma offenders have a history or currently suffer symptoms of mental health, which does not include the thousands of offenders without documented mental health issues. Oklahoma criminal courts have slowly attempted to respond to this recently identified trend by forming Mental Health Courts. Treatment for mental health works. At least fourteen counties, out of the seventy-seven counties, in Oklahoma operate Mental Health Courts. Mental Health Courts are a diversion program based on the Drug Court diversion program model: treatment, counseling, employment or seeking disability resources, and court appearances. Successful completion of Mental Health Court results in your case being dismissed; however, failure will result in jail or prison time. You should discuss this diversion option with your criminal defense attorney, if you or your loved one facing criminal charges suffers from a mental health diagnosis or mental health issue in Oklahoma.
Remerge is a female diversion program for mothers and pregnant women facing prison in Oklahoma. This diversion program works with the Department of Corrections & Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to find treatment and diversion options for women facing prison. Remerge, similar to Drug Court, uses treatment to address mental health, behavior health, substance abuse, trauma, and poverty. Upon successful completion of Remerge the participant’s felony is dismissed, they are employed, they have housing, and a treatment plan to go forward. Remerge’s comprehensive plan boasts a five percent (5%) recidivism rate, which means only five-percent of graduates re-offend. You should discuss this diversion option with your criminal defense attorney, if you or your loved one potentially qualify for ReMerge in Oklahoma.
Delayed Sentencing for Young Adults
The Delayed Sentencing Program for Young Adults or Regimented Inmate Discipline Program “RID” is a boot camp style program for criminal defendants between the age of eighteen (18) and twenty-one (21). Individuals must enter a plea before their twenty-second (22nd) birthday to participate in the program and cannot be charged with any of the specific serious violent felonies listed in OKLA. STAT. tit. 22 § 996.1. RID has an in-custody option and an out-of-custody option. After a criminal defendant enters a plea; they will participate in the regimented program for a period between six months and a year. Upon, completion of the program a report is generated that details how the defendant performed. Poor performance or failure of RID can result in a felony conviction or even prison time, while successful completion can result in probation, including a deferred sentence. The defendant’s case will be dismissed upon successful completion of a deferred sentence. You should discuss this diversion option with your criminal defense attorney, if you or your loved one are facing criminal charges in Oklahoma and you are under the age of twenty-two.
Oklahoma Community Sentencing Act, OKLA. STAT. tit. 22 §988.1 et seq. is an alternative to prison for criminal defendants with a prior felony conviction or multiple felony convictions, even some violent crime convictions. The first step in determining program eligibility is an assessment, the Level of Services Inventory (“LSI”) assessment, which gives the defendant’s criminal defense attorney, the prosecutor, and the judge insight or a forecast of the likelihood of success for the individual. Those that do not fall within the qualifying score +19, may be admitted with approval of the applicable District Attorney’s office. Although, successful completion of Community Sentencing will not result in dismissal of charges; it will result in not going to prison. You should discuss this prison diversion option with your criminal defense attorney, if you or your loved one has one or more felony convictions and is facing new felony charges in Oklahoma.
Alternative Programs for Youth
Juvenile Justice affords greater opportunity to avoid criminal charges, conviction, and incarceration that any other group of criminal defendants in Oklahoma. The First-Time Offender Program exists to help youth avoid criminal charges. This program, like most, is run by individual counties. The Skills Education Program “SEP” exists in Oklahoma County. The SEP is a sixteen-hour course, in which an individual youth and his or her parent work to develop proper responses to anger and conflict. Eligibility for this program requires one of the following: 1) behavior exhibited at school or home that concerns parents or teachers; or 2) a youth that is arrested for a first-time criminal offense. After a criminal allegation is made against a juvenile, but before charges are filed, a youth may enter into other diversion programs by agreement with the District Attorney’s Office through coordinating with the juvenile intake officer in the Intake and Diversion Services Unit or the Community Intervention Center “CIC”. All three of these options connect youths and their family with services to find better responses to controversy. You should discuss these youth diversion options with your criminal defense attorney, if you or your loved one has youthful criminal allegations or charges in Oklahoma.
When facing criminal charges in Oklahoma; threating your future, finances, and freedom, contact CANNON & ASSOCIATES in Oklahoma City for your defense. John will do everything possible to defend your freedom and your future. You have the right to the presumption of innocence and representation by the best criminal defense attorney you can find. John will help you throughout the process and help you reach the best possible outcome in your case, including Diversion Programs. John Cannon is a Fierce Advocate for every client and will use his experience and respected reputation to do everything possible to reach the best possible outcome in your criminal case. John has been recognized as a Top 40 under 40 in Criminal Defense by the National Trial Lawyers Association. Additionally, he has an outstanding record of reaching the best possible outcome for hundreds of clients accused of the wide variety of criminal charges, as evidenced by receiving the highest possible AVVO rating – 10 (superb). Contact CANNON & ASSOCIATES today.
Our Client Reviews
"John has shown nothing but compassion and professional guidance in my case. He truly cares about his clients and is exceptionally understanding when it comes to any case he is representing. He communicates genuinely as well as in a timely matter. If I were able to give his firm any more than 5 stars, I most definitely would. He is incredible."
"John Cannon is an awesome attorney. He is very professional and honest. He really cares about his clients. John always gets back to you quickly to answer any questions you have regarding your case. I highly recommend CANNON & ASSOCIATES for any legal needs you may have."
"John Cannon has helped me through the hardest time in my life. He helped me through my divorce and custody case. He truly cares about his clients and it made me so happy he always put my daughter first and wanted what was in her best interest as a child. He is very sharp and resourceful and he has been very attentive and responsive to my needs, John is very polite and professional and he always has a great attitude. John always took the time to go over everything and explain everything in depth. I've enjoyed working with John and his team and would recommend him to other clients."
"I have known John for about 6 years now in his capacity as a Judge Advocate and a civilian attorney. John has a rare blend of both sharp analytical and interpersonal skills. I have seen John achieve positive outcomes for clients in complex scenarios and If you need an attorney who can do the same for you - this is your guy."
"John did a very good job. Although the outcome was not 100% what we expected(strange judgement) it was overall positive. I would, have and will continue to recommended him. Although I certainly hope to not need his services again in the capacity I hired him for I would not hesitate to call if I do. Thanks John"
"I signed up with John June 25th, July 5th I received an email that my case is in line to be DISMISSED, within a 2 week time period John made what was one of the most stressful times in my life better! Every case is different but he handled my case with care and he was extremely open in his communication throughout the whole process. I hope to never have to have a criminal attorney again but if I do I will definitely go back to John. I highly recommend him to anyone else who is needing an attorney!"
"John is a highly respected attorney. Professional and compassionate. He has a wealth of knowledge, being a military officer and having served as an Assistant District Attorney, a Public Defender, and an Assistant Attorney General. He helped a friend's son who was headed down the wrong path, but through John's legal defense the young man is now a successful business owner."
"John is a very professional attorney, who is not only concerned about the welfare of his client but very attentive and considerate of the family, or other bodies that are in the face of the adversity. While working on my family members case, John took time out to take a class that would educate him on how to approach the many different types of cases tried in the court room. John proved his sincerity to the calling of his job, being an attorney. I would definitely recommend him to anyone."
"Mr. Cannon went above and beyond for my wife. She was facing some pretty hard fines and prison time with the US Marshalls. Mr. Cannon fought a hard fight and got her a GREAT offer. Words cannot express how much I appreciate him and what he did for my wife. I would give 10 stars and I will be promoting him. He's that awesome. He keeps you informed, he will text or call you back, and he goes above what he is asked to do and I can reassure you"HE WILL FIGHT FOR YOU OR YOUR FAMILY MEMBER". I will continue retaining him for other things my wife is battling. High five and a great big hug to Mr. Cannon. Thank you!!! John took the reigns and provided us instant peace of mind. He was timely, respectful, transparent, very professional, honest and courteous. The service he provided was above and beyond our expectations. Can’t believe professionals like him are around. Highly highly without reservations recommend him and his team."
"John Cannon is an excellent attorney. He takes sincere interest in your needs. He maintains communication and provides all the information you might want to fully understand the legal process. He also suggests alternative resolutions to your legal needs so that you can make informed choices. I definitely recommend John."
"My experience with CANNON & ASSOCIATES was absolutely amazing. I hired John Cannon two days before my rebuttal statement was due back to the Staff Judge Advocate. Within that time frame he was able to talk to my Battery and Battalion Commanders, review my evidence, and help me write a rebuttal statement that help prove my case to them, the Brigade Commander and the Post Commanding General. Cannon worked thru the night to help me get the best results for me and my family. Due to his hard work and attention to detail I am still able to continue to serve my country and progress in my military career with no adverse actions on my record. I can not thank him enough on a job well done. Cannon showed me that he was invested in my case and I highly recommend you hire him when you need someone to represent you in a legal matter."
"John Cannon assisted me through a very difficult time in my military career. He worked tirelessly with me on my case and kept me informed during the entire process. I can't say enough good things about Mr. Cannon. He's incredibly knowledgeable with regards to military justice. The outcome of my case was successful and I attribute that to Mr. Cannon's professionalism and expertise in dealing with military law. I would highly recommend Mr. Cannon to anyone with military justice or criminal defense needs."
"Hands down the best lawyer. Mr.Cannon accepted my case and got on it the same day. I would give him 10 stars if I could. I really appreciate the dedication on how he handles things with a short time frame."
"Mr. Cannon has represented me on 2 criminal cases and one civil case over the past 4 years. He has always served me honestly, speedily and with good moral direction. John has integrity and humility. He has never belittled me or treated me in an unfair manor. I appreciate all that he has done for me and I most certainly recommend him to family, strangers and friends. I will definitely use Mr. Cannon in the future for any and all of my family's legal matters."
"Mr. Cannon went above and beyond for my wife. She was facing some pretty hard fines and prison time with the US Marshalls. Mr. Cannon fought a hard fight and got her a GREAT offer. Words cannot express how much I appreciate him and what he did for my wife. I would give 10 stars and I will be promoting him. He's that awesome. He keeps you informed, he will text or call you back, and he goes above what he is asked to do and I can reassure you"HE WILL FIGHT FOR YOU OR YOUR FAMILY MEMBER". I will continue retaining him for other things my wife is battling. High five and a great big hug to Mr. Cannon. Thank you!!!"
"I had a great experience with John. He is very personable and helped me a lot. I’m really grateful I found him. He made me feel confident that he was the right lawyer for my case and that he wasn’t trying to sell me but genuinely just wanted to help me. I would highly recommend John to anyone! "
"Working with Mr. Cannon has been a real life-saving experience for me and my family. He provides the knowledge of the possibilities as soon as he can get them, then works tirelessly to ensure that any concerns or questions are addressed immediately. He has been a great asset to us not only in the face of legal troubles, but in providing a sense of security that is truly reassuring in the face of the uncertain. Mr. Cannon has been a great resource and has been very patient with me. From the start he provided a list of things to do that would help me help him with my case and since the beginning has continued to give advice or suggestions on any matter that has bothered me with my situation, large or small. He is gentle, yet realistic, and this combination really does become a rock in tumultuous times such as these. I would highly recommend Mr. Cannon to anyone who needs a vigilant and committed attorney, especially one that stands by your side until your issue is resolved. He goes above and beyond not only to work, but to care for his clients!"
"John Cannon assisted me through a very difficult time in my military career. He worked tirelessly with me on my case and kept me informed during the entire process. I can't say enough good things about Mr. Cannon. He's incredibly knowledgeable with regards to military justice. The outcome of my case was successful and I attribute that to Mr. Cannon's professionalism and expertise in dealing with military law. I highly recommend Mr. Cannon to anyone with military justice or criminal defense needs."