Table of Contents

Rules of the Court

Pretrial Diversion Program

(A) Diversion. Under R.C. 2935.36, a defendant may be eligible to participate in the Court’s pretrial diversion program. Upon motion of the prosecutor, the Court’s motion, or the motion of the defendant with the consent of the prosecutor, the Court may permit a defendant to enter the pretrial diversion program or initiate an investigation into an alleged offender’s eligibility to participate in the pretrial diversion program. The purpose of the pretrial diversion program is to permit individuals charged with certain, specified, non-violent offenses the opportunity to avoid a criminal conviction. Participation in the program is a privilege, not a right, and may not be used to evade or delay responsibility. The Court may not permit a defendant to enter the pretrial diversion program without the consent of the prosecutor, but the prosecutor may not unreasonably deny consent. The Court reserves the right to inquire into grounds for approval or denial by the prosecutor for participation in the pretrial diversion program. Upon motion of the prosecutor, for good cause and in the interest of justice, the limitations set out in this rule may be waived for offenses that are not otherwise excluded by R.C. 2935.36.

(B) The pretrial diversion program is generally limited to offenses involving:

(1) Alcohol-related offenses not otherwise excluded, including violations of R.C. Chapter 4301 and/or Lakewood Codified Chapter 529.

(2) Offenses involving drugs of abuse or controlled substances, including possession and drug paraphernalia, if the offense is either a minor misdemeanor or fourth (4th) degree misdemeanor.

(3) Housing, building, health safety, or zoning code offenses. These cases are generally limited to owner-occupied housing units, but with the consent of the prosecutor and valid, additional grounds, may include non-owner-occupied housing units.

(C) Eligibility factors include:

(1) Non-violent offenses or convictions.

(2) No pending criminal charges.

(3) No prior diversion.

(4) No current or previous probation status.

(5) Prior criminal or traffic record.

(6) No pending warrants

(7) Cooperation with law enforcement officers/building inspectors.

(8) Evidence of remorse.

(9) Any other factor that the court or prosecutor may determine to be relevant.

(D) Conditions of the diversion program may include:

(1) Abide by all laws during the diversion program.

(2) Abstain from the use of alcohol and/or drugs of abuse.

(3) Random drug screens.

(4) Community work service.

(5) Continued education, including G.E.D. classes.

(6) Obtain employment.

(7) Pay restitution.

(8) Pay required court fees and costs.

(9) Execute any required release of information.

(10) Comply with any other appropriate terms imposed by the court.

(E) The administration of this program shall be conducted under the supervision of the prosecutor’s office and/or the Court’s probation department.

(F) To be considered for the program, a defendant must enter a plea of guilty to the charge(s) and waive any right to speedy trial. The Court shall hold its findings in abeyance pending the defendant’s participation in the pretrial diversion program. As a condition of participation in the pretrial diversion program, the defendant must agree to waive any periods of limitations established by statute or rules of the Court and any other provisions as necessary to accomplish the objectives of the pretrial diversion program.

(G) All persons referred to this program may be assessed a fee. The Court, upon its motion or request of the prosecutor or defendant, may waive any administrative fee for any individual defendant who is indigent and unable to pay the fee or for other grounds in the exercise of the court’s discretion.

(H) Any court costs or fees paid to the Clerk of Court shall be received and deposited following the Charter of the City of Lakewood, the Codified Ordinances, and any applicable provisions of state law.

(I) Each defendant accepted into this program must agree and, if applicable, sign an agreement setting out the conditions of participation in the program. The program shall be considered completed when all those conditions contained are met. The case may be advanced and/or an arrest warrant issued in the event of failure to comply with the conditions of participation. If the defendant fails to comply with the conditions of participation, the defendant may be removed from the pretrial diversion program and brought to trial upon the charges in the manner provided by law. The defendant shall be advised of their right to withdraw the guilty plea and/or waiver of the right to speedy trial.

(J) If the defendant completes the program, the case may be dismissed.