Cobb County Diversion
If you have been charged with one of three misdemeanors, Minor in Possession, Violation of the Georgia Controlled Substance Act or Shoplifting, you may be eligible for Pretrial diversion (PTD). PTD is an alternative to prosecution which seeks to divert certain offenders from traditional criminal justice processing into a program of supervision and services administered by the State Court of Cobb County. In the majority of cases, participants who successfully complete the program will have the charges against them dismissed; unsuccessful participants are returned for prosecution. Many of the municipal courts in Cobb County, including the Municipal Courts of Marietta, Kennesaw, Acworth, and some other courts, offer pretrial diversion programs.
1. An Attorney must file the Diversion Petition and the $150.00 fee payable to "State Court Diversion" must be included.
2. A person with previous arrests, first offender, nolo treatment or conditional discharge is not eligible. No prior Theft convictions of any kind.
3. No prior Drug or Alcohol convictions or any prior diversion nor anyone refusing chemical testing, anyone having a BAC of .08% or greater or operating a motor vehicle when arrested for MIP or VGCSA.
4. No arrests during the diversion period.
Please call 404.654.3565 or email us through our Contact page for fee information specific to your situation.
The Diversion Program is designed for first offenders who have committed crimes that did not result in injury to a victim, are otherwise non-violent and non-aggressive in nature and are non-drug related. Inasmuch as those individuals who are admitted to the program have committed a crime, it is not in the best interest of the justice system to have records of the crime expunged.
In accordance with the conditions outlined in their contractual agreements, individuals accepted to participate in the Diversion Program will immediately be subjected to individualized and controlled supervisory programs for a specified period of time in lieu of traditional prosecution. That is, persons who meet the eligibility criteria will be offered the opportunity to participate in the Diversion Program which will serve as an alternative to the county’s traditional methods of handling cases.
Participation in the Diversion Program will be voluntary with the advice of counsel, will occur prior to adjudication and if participants satisfactorily complete the Diversion Program, will result in dismissal or nolle prosequi of the charges. It is designed to benefit the individual program participant as well as the overall criminal justice system for Cobb County.
Acceptance into the Cobb Superior Court Diversion Program will generally be based upon the following eligibility criteria:
1) The Victim's response to the Defendant's petition for Diversion.
2) Only offenders with no other criminal record will be eligible for program participation.
3) Offenders must be at least 17 years of age and voluntarily petition the District Attorney requesting consideration for participation in the Diversion Program.
4) Unless unusual circumstances prevail, offenders must be residents of Cobb County. Some exceptions would be, the offender is returning home to family, a job out of state, or going away to school.
5) The case against the offender must be prosecutable.
6) As a rule, offenders must be gainfully employed or a full-time student. (An exception to this would be a homemaker who would not be required to obtain full-time employment.)
7) Offenders must be of a stable mind and have a stable place of residence.
8) Offenders must agree to sign forms waiving their right to:
a) Grand Jury indictment;
b) certain Constitutional rights including the right to a speedy trial;
c) maintain confidential information such as juvenile records (such records are needed for the purpose of eligibility investigation)
and the Offender must admit guilt.
9) Offenders must agree to perform specified hours of community service (not to exceed 200 hours) be supervised for reasonable periods of time which will be determined by the nature of their crimes and an evaluation of their program participation. (Offenders will be required to enter into a contractual agreement outlining the conditions of their participation in order for their petition to receive consideration.)
The following persons will not qualify for participation in the Diversion Program:
1) Persons with extensive juvenile records.
2) Persons with criminal records of convictions or arrests.
3) Persons who willfully failed to appear in court while on bond.
4) Persons who have escaped from a mental hospital.
5) Persons who have been arrested for Violation of the Georgia Controlled Substances Act.
6) Persons who are dependent upon drugs and/or alcohol, unless they have successfully completed a primary treatment program and can verify in writing, their successful completion of the program.
If the offender is accepted into the Diversion program, a contractual agreement outlining the conditions of participation will be prepared and executed. If restitution is required it must be paid at this time. The offender will be required to pay an administration fee of $300.00 (O.C.G.A. § 15-18-80). All funds are to be given to the Diversion Representative who will distribute the funds to the Clerk of Superior Court. All funds are to be paid by certified or cashiers check or money order only, made payable to Cobb County General Fund.
Upon execution of the contractual agreement, the offender will be enrolled in the DiversionmProgram for a specified period of time, and for the duration of the program, the offender will be under the supervision and monitoring of the staff of the Diversion Unit or the District Attorney’s Office. Upon successful completion, bond will be released.
I am excited to announce that, effective Monday, February 13, I joined the law firm of Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor located in Marietta. The firm has a staff of experienced attorneys and office personnel that will allow me to focus solely on providing the best legal service available.
My new office address is 291 Alexander Street, Marietta, GA 30060 and you may reach me at 770.426.1148.