Diversion Rights

  1. Diversion is a different way of dealing with juveniles who are charged with an offense. You do not go to court and there is no trial before a judge.
  2. A Diversion agreement is a contract between you and the Diversion unit. A Diversion agreement may require you to do certain things, such as community service, attend counseling, informational, restorative justice, or educational sessions, pay restitution, pay a fee, requirements to attend school, observe home curfews, abide by restrictions to certain geographical locations, and refrain from any contact with victims or witnesses of the offense; but you cannot be sent to jail. Under certain circumstances, you may be counseled and released, which means no further action will be required of you.
  3. If you sign a Diversion Agreement, or if you are counseled and released, the offense you are charged with and any Diversion Agreement will be part of your criminal history. Your criminal history may result in: (A) future or other offenses not being handled by diversion or deferred disposition; and (B) future or other offenses resulting in more serious consequences. Your criminal history will show whether or not you have completed the terms of a Diversion Agreement. Your criminal history is accessible to the police, the prosecutor, the court, and the diversion unit.
  4. If you do not follow the Diversion Agreement, the prosecutor may bring you to a hearing for the offense(s) with which you are charged. If you do not appear at the court hearing, the court may order that you be arrested.
  5. If you sign a Diversion Agreement for alcohol, drug, or firearm related offense, that offense can later be used as a prior offense to revoke your driving privilege should you be convicted in court of an alcohol, drug, or firearm related offense.
  6. You do not have to participate in Diversion. If you choose not to participate, your case will go to court if charges are filed by the prosecutor. If your case goes to court, you can have a lawyer represent you, and you will not have to pay for the lawyer if you cannot afford it.
  7. You may ask the court to seal your file on your current offense(s) if you spend two continuous years in the community from the date you complete the terms of your Diversion Agreement without committing any offense or crime that results in conviction or diversion.
  8. If your criminal history includes only one Diversion Agreement, then upon its successful completion, the records in this case will be automatically destroyed within 90 days of becoming eligible for destruction. Records in this case become eligible for destruction when all five of the following conditions exist: (1) Your criminal history includes only one Diversion Agreement; (2) You are 18 years or older; (3) Two years have passed since completion of the agreement; (4) Restitution is paid in full; and, (5) There are no proceedings pending against you seeking the conviction of a criminal offense.
  9. If your criminal history includes only referrals for diversions, and all of your diversion agreements have been successfully completed and no proceeding is pending against you seeking conviction of a criminal offense, when you are at least age 23 years old you may ask the court for an order destroying your Diversion records.
  10. You have the right to talk to a lawyer about whether you should participate in Diversion or go to court. You will not have to pay for a lawyer if you cannot afford it. A lawyer can review the police reports, explain your rights, and explain the law. If you do not believe you have committed the offense, you should talk to a lawyer.
  11. When you agree to participate in the diversion process, you do not have the right to have a free lawyer appointed for you to help you work out a Diversion Agreement, but you do have the right to have a lawyer help you work out a Diversion Agreement if you can afford to pay for it.
  12. If you are enrolled in school, the court will notify your principal of your Diversion Agreement if the offense for which you are entering into a Diversion Agreement is a violent offense as defined in RCW 9.94A.030; a sex offense as defied in RCW 9.94A.030; inhaling toxic fumes under Chapter 9.47A RCW; a controlled substance violation under Chapter 69.50 RCW; a liquor violation under RCW 66.44.270; or any crime under Chapters 9.41, 9A.36, 9A.40, 9A.46 and 9A.48 RCW.