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Judicial Diversion Archives

Appellate Court Reverses Denial of Judicial Diversion

Judicial diversion is a sentencing option available to a court in criminal cases in Tennessee for first time offenders and certain eligible offenses. It allows an eligible defendant to avoid a formal conviction if the defendant complies with certain terms and conditions and successfully completes a probationary period of time. The decision of whether to grant or deny judicial diversion is a decision to be made by the sentencing court. But the decision must be made within the confines of established law, and specific factors established by legal precedent. In the recent case of State . Gobble, E2014-01596-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 8-12-2015), the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals reversed a trial court denial of judicial diversion because the trial court based its decision on an irrelevant (and impermissible) consideration.

Vehicular Assault Non-Eligible for Judicial Diversion

Judicial diversion in Tennessee law is a means of allowing a qualified defendant who is convicted of or pleads guilty to an offense to avoid having a recorded conviction for the offense if certain conditions are met. To qualify, a defendant must not already have any serious prior convictions and must not have received a judicial diversion in the past. The offense must also be an eligible offense. Certain offenses are specifically not eligible for this resolution. A DUI offense is not eligible for diversion in Tennessee. In the recent case of State v. Jones, M2013-00938-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 8-20-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals has ruled that the crime of vehicular assault, though not expressly excluded by statute, is also not eligible for judicial diversion, as it contains the lesser included offense of DUI, which is expressly ineligible.

Vehicular Assault Non-Eligible for Judicial Diversion

Judicial diversion in Tennessee law is a means of allowing a qualified defendant who is convicted of or pleads guilty to an offense to avoid having a recorded conviction for the offense if certain conditions are met. To qualify, a defendant must not already have any serious prior convictions and must not have received a judicial diversion in the past. The offense must also be an eligible offense. Certain offenses are specifically not eligible for this resolution. A DUI offense is not eligible for diversion in Tennessee. In the recent case of State v. Jones, M2013-00938-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 8-20-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals has ruled that the crime of vehicular assault, though not expressly excluded by statute, is also not eligible for judicial diversion, as it contains the lesser included offense of DUI, which is expressly ineligible.

Vehicular Assault Non-Eligible for Judicial Diversion

Judicial diversion in Tennessee law is a means of allowing a qualified defendant who is convicted of or pleads guilty to an offense to avoid having a recorded conviction for the offense if certain conditions are met. To qualify, a defendant must not already have any serious prior convictions and must not have received a judicial diversion in the past. The offense must also be an eligible offense. Certain offenses are specifically not eligible for this resolution. A DUI offense is not eligible for diversion in Tennessee. In the recent case of State v. Jones, M2013-00938-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 8-20-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals has ruled that the crime of vehicular assault, though not expressly excluded by statute, is also not eligible for judicial diversion, as it contains the lesser included offense of DUI, which is expressly ineligible.

Devil Head Tattoo Leads to Denial of Judicial Diversion

Judicial diversion is a procedure by which a first-time offender who pleads guilty or is found guilty of a diversion eligible offense may still avoid the criminal conviction after complying with certain conditions during a probationary period, after which the charge is effectively dismissed if the conditions are met. Whether to grant judicial diversion to a diversion eligible offender is within the discretion of the sentencing court. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Guilliams, E2013-0145-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 7-2-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the denial of judicial diversion to an offender who may have offended the sentencing court with a tattoo the court believed to resemble "the head of the devil."

Devil Head Tattoo Leads to Denial of Judicial Diversion

Judicial diversion is a procedure by which a first-time offender who pleads guilty or is found guilty of a diversion eligible offense may still avoid the criminal conviction after complying with certain conditions during a probationary period, after which the charge is effectively dismissed if the conditions are met. Whether to grant judicial diversion to a diversion eligible offender is within the discretion of the sentencing court. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Guilliams, E2013-0145-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 7-2-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the denial of judicial diversion to an offender who may have offended the sentencing court with a tattoo the court believed to resemble "the head of the devil."

Devil Head Tattoo Leads to Denial of Judicial Diversion

Judicial diversion is a procedure by which a first-time offender who pleads guilty or is found guilty of a diversion eligible offense may still avoid the criminal conviction after complying with certain conditions during a probationary period, after which the charge is effectively dismissed if the conditions are met. Whether to grant judicial diversion to a diversion eligible offender is within the discretion of the sentencing court. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Guilliams, E2013-0145-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 7-2-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the denial of judicial diversion to an offender who may have offended the sentencing court with a tattoo the court believed to resemble "the head of the devil."

Denial of Judicial Diversion Reversed in Reckless Homicide Case

Judicial diversion is a process by which a defendant in a criminal case, who acknowledges guilt of an offense, may still avoid a criminal conviction under certain circumstances. The defendant generally must have no prior criminal convictions and complete a probationary period which may include other requirements imposed by the sentencing court. At the successful conclusion of the diversion terms and probationary period, and completion of payment of court costs and restitution if applicable, the charges can be dismissed by the sentencing court. Not all criminal offenses are eligible for this process. In determining whether to grant judicial diversion if it is requested, a sentencing court must determine eligibility and then must decide whether to grant it based on specific factors which must be weighed by the court in considering the request. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Turner, M2013-00827-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 1-29-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals reversed a trial court decision denying judicial diversion in a reckless homicide case, and remanded the case for further consideration by the trial court.

Denial of Judicial Diversion Reversed in Reckless Homicide Case

Judicial diversion is a process by which a defendant in a criminal case, who acknowledges guilt of an offense, may still avoid a criminal conviction under certain circumstances. The defendant generally must have no prior criminal convictions and complete a probationary period which may include other requirements imposed by the sentencing court. At the successful conclusion of the diversion terms and probationary period, and completion of payment of court costs and restitution if applicable, the charges can be dismissed by the sentencing court. Not all criminal offenses are eligible for this process. In determining whether to grant judicial diversion if it is requested, a sentencing court must determine eligibility and then must decide whether to grant it based on specific factors which must be weighed by the court in considering the request. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Turner, M2013-00827-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 1-29-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals reversed a trial court decision denying judicial diversion in a reckless homicide case, and remanded the case for further consideration by the trial court.

Denial of Judicial Diversion Reversed in Reckless Homicide Case

Judicial diversion is a process by which a defendant in a criminal case, who acknowledges guilt of an offense, may still avoid a criminal conviction under certain circumstances. The defendant generally must have no prior criminal convictions and complete a probationary period which may include other requirements imposed by the sentencing court. At the successful conclusion of the diversion terms and probationary period, and completion of payment of court costs and restitution if applicable, the charges can be dismissed by the sentencing court. Not all criminal offenses are eligible for this process. In determining whether to grant judicial diversion if it is requested, a sentencing court must determine eligibility and then must decide whether to grant it based on specific factors which must be weighed by the court in considering the request. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Turner, M2013-00827-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 1-29-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals reversed a trial court decision denying judicial diversion in a reckless homicide case, and remanded the case for further consideration by the trial court.

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