In March of 2014, a grand jury in New Jersey indicted NFL running back Ray Rice with a felony charge of aggravated assault. The indictment stemmed from an altercation with his then-fiancé, now wife, Janay Palmer in a hotel elevator in Atlantic City. Video footage was released shortly thereafter showing part of the incident, but today video from inside the elevator surfaced showing Ray Rice punching Palmer at least twice. Following the release of the new video, the Baltimore Ravens terminated Ray Rice’s contract and the NFL suspended him “indefinitely.”
Many media outlets have been quick to report that while Rice will not be playing football for the foreseeable future, he likely will not have a criminal conviction on his record. This is due to a New Jersey program called “pre-intervention.” All states have a similar diversion program that is run through the office of each jurisdiction’s prosecutor. The programs are similar across states and usually include a fine, a series of classes, and a period of probation. If the defendant completes the sentence, the charge is dismissed, and the defendant walks away with a clear record. In Colorado, the program is referred to as either a deferred judgment or deferred prosecution. The difference between the two is that a deferred judgment requires the defendant to plead guilty to the offense and the charge remains on the person’s record while they complete their sentence, while in a deferred prosecution, the defendant does not plead guilty to the offense.
Diversion programs are important to the criminal system because it allows people to make a mistake, but not be punished for that mistake for the rest of their lives. However, it is important to note that even when a charge is dismissed, it still appears on background checks as a charge without a conviction. It is important for a person who was arrested and charged with a crime to seal their arrest record to negate future issues.
Diversion programs are offered through plea bargain negotiation. If you were charged with a crime, you need an attorney represent you through the plea negotiation process to have the best possible outcome. The lawyers at Peter Loyd Weber and Associates will work to make sure you have the best possible outcome for your case. Call us for a free consultation today at (720)863-7755.