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Alternative Sentencing


Diversion & Alternative Sentencing Lawyer

Atlanta Area Attorney for Alternative Courts & Sentencing

Phyllis Gingrey Collins works with youth and young adults facing criminal charges and other difficult situations like being accused of cheating in school.  We defend young adults and minors vigorously because we have seen the effects of the traditional juvenile justice centers, jails and prison systems.  All too often traditional sentencing does not serve as a “correctional system” and instead starts a cycle of recidivism (future criminal offenses and re-entering the criminal justice system).

Pretrial Diversion Program as Alternative to Traditional Sentencing

The pre-trial diversion program, also known as the Pre-trial intervention program or PTI allows people accused of a crime to avoid trial and a permanent criminal record.   In Georgia, each county (and in some cases city) has a different program with different criteria for eligibility.  A good number of diversion cases are drug possession charges (possession of a controlled substance).  The person who has been charged agrees to: 

  • Submit to random drug tests
  • Complete drug treatment
  • Perform Community Service
  • Possibly Pay Court Fines

The benefits for the person who has been accused are huge and far outweigh the costs, especially when compared to the traditional sentences of mandatory jail time and heavy fines. 

Benefits of the Pre-Trial Diversion Program For Someone Accused of a Crime: 

  • Keeps charge off of your record / keeps you from having a criminal record
  • Avoid the cost, complications and possible bad result of a full trial
  • No Record means no embarrassing situations in job interviews
  • No Record means no restrictions on where you can live
  • Allows you to get back to your normal life and put this all behind you as quickly and easily as possible

Qualifying for the Pre-Trial Diversion Program: 

Not everyone facing a criminal charge, even if it is your first criminal charge, is eligible for the PTI program in Georgia.  To ensure eligibility, contact attorney Phyllis Gingrey Collins today to talk about the specifics around your case.  To be eligible you must at least meet the following criteria: 

  • Have no criminal record
  • Be at least 17 years of age

DUI charges are unfortunately NOT eligible for the program, neither are most traffic-related violations.  Some of the most common charges that do qualify for the PTI program include: 

  • First time marijuana possession charges
  • Shoplifting (possession of stolen goods)
  • Simple assault
  • Domestic Violence
  • Battery
  • Disorderly Conduct

Other Alternative Courts in Georgia

The state of Georgia set up the Georgia Accountability Court Program with the goals of decreasing substance abuse based incarceration rates, saving lives and restoring families.  While these programs have a unified framework, each county has different stipulations and in some cases even names for the courts (they are called “Treatment Court” “Drug and Mental Health Court” and in some cases simple “Accountability Court”).  There are also programs (which vary by county) for mental health courts.  I am happy to talk to you about what specific alternative courts may be available to you based on the charges you are facing and what county in Georgia you were charged in.

Charged with a Crime?  Contact Me For a Free Consultation

There is no quick test you can take online to determine if you are eligible for alternative sentencing in general or Georgia’s pre-trial diversion program in particular.  The best way to find out if you are eligible is to take advantage of a free initial consultation with Phyllis Gingrey Collins.  She can help you understand how the laws and options around the pre-trial diversion program apply to your specific situation, and help determine whether or not you are eligible.  

Free Consultation by Phone or over Video Conference

You can have Phyllis Gingrey Collins explain how she can help in your particular case by taking advantage of a free initial consultation.