Diversion Program

I couldn’t possibly improve upon Ruth Parker and her processes, style and care. I truly have never felt so supported in one of the most shocking and vulnerable states of my life over the course of the last 12 months. I feel incredibly comforted and grateful that other women who find themselves in such awful predicaments like I did can maintain hope, composure, dignity and ulitmately get on with their lives with the important lessons behind them thanks to Ruth’s guidance.

Anon, September 2022

What is the Diversion Program?

The Diversion Program is available generally (but not always) to first time offenders who are faced with a criminal charge in the Magistrates’ Court. However, the individual circumstances may mean that the police and court attitude is that the offender should avoid a criminal record and be placed on the Diversion Program, also known as a Diversion Plan.  By being accepted into the Diversion Program, the criminal matter is diverted from the common criminal stream and, after the participant completes their plan, the criminal record is wiped clean.

How Galbally Parker can Assist with the Diversion Program

We have assisted a number of clients to successfully obtain a placement on the Diversion Program, and understand that for first time offenders, appearing in the Magistrates’ Court can be an overwhelming and stressful experience. Having a client accepted onto a Diversion Program is as much about your lawyers ability to persuade the Prosecution to recommend you as our lawyers ability to have you accepted onto a Diversion Program by a Magistrate.

Getting on a Diversion Plan:

To be eligible for the Diversion Program, the following criteria needs to be met:

  • The offence is a summary offence (which means it can be heard and determined in the Magistrates’ Court);
  • The Prosecution consent to Diversion; and
  • The offender acknowledges responsibility for the offence.

If an offender is recommended for Diversion, they attend at the Magistrates’ Court and complete an assessment with a Diversion Co-ordinator. This will involve completing a questionnaire and attending an interview. Our lawyers regularly assist clients with this process. Upon completion of this assessment, the matter will then proceed to a Magistrate to make the final decision as to whether Diversion should be granted.

If deemed suitable, the offender will be placed on a Diversion Plan. The conditions of a Diversion Plan can vary, depending upon the particular circumstances of the case. Generally, they will involve things such as:

  • That the offender write a letter of apology to the victim;
  • That the offender write a letter of gratitude to the police informant;
  • That the offender donate a sum of money to a particular charity; and
  • That the offender be of good character for a specified time period.

Once someone is granted Diversion, and placed on a Diversion Plan, the Magistrate has the power to adjourn proceedings to allow the Diversion Program to take place so that the applicant can complete their Diversion Plan. On the return date of the matter, if all conditions of the Diversion Program have been successfully completed, the matter will essentially be ‘struck out’ and no record will be kept.

We understand that there can be serious consequences of receiving a conviction or non-conviction, as it can impact on current or future employment or travel opportunities. Therefore, at Galbally Parker Criminal Lawyers we are well prepared to ensure that you are afforded the best possible opportunity to be granted eligibility for Diversion, complete the Diversion Plan and move on with your life.

For further information on the Diversion Program and completing a Diversion Plan:

Contact Galbally Parker Lawyers

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