What is the Pre-trial Diversion Program (PDP)?
The Pre-trial Diversion Program (PDP) is a program offered at the discretion of the Monroe County Prosecutor's Office. It may be offered to defendants without significant prior criminal records who have been charged with certain offenses. The program requires a defendant to complete a specific set of requirements, and upon successful completion the defendant's charges will be dismissed. Depending on the circumstances of a given case, in addition to paying court, clerk, program fees, defendants must meet additional obligations. Requirements range from varying degrees of alcohol and drug education to substance abuse evaluations and the resulting treatment or therapy. Defendants may also be required to do community service, road crew, and pay restitution where appropriate. These and other requirements are assigned as is deemed appropriate by the Pre-trial Diversion Program staff.
What charges are eligible for PDP?
Certain misdemeanor offenses including (but not limited to) Illegal Consumption or Possession of an Alcoholic Beverage, Public Intoxication, and Possession of Marijuana may be considered for participation in the Pre-trial Diversion Program. Felonies or charges that involve operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated are not eligible for PDP. Regardless of the charges filed, eligibility for PDP is not guaranteed and is determined on a case-by-case basis.
How do I apply for PDP?
There is no application process for PDP. Arresting agencies (such as Bloomington Police Department, Monroe County Sheriff's Office, Indiana State Police, Excise and the Indiana University Police Department) forward reports from arrests and citation tickets to the Monroe County Prosecutor's Office for charging. Prosecutor staff reviews each report and considers, among other things, the charges involved, the circumstances surrounding the incident and the defendant's prior criminal history to determine if a case is appropriate to be offered PDP. Defendants cannot "apply" for PDP.
Do I need to show up for my initial court date?
Yes. The initial court date is where a defendant will be informed if he/she is eligible for PDP. If eligible for PDP, the defendant will be given paperwork by the bailiffs and then sent to meet with PDP staff without actually appearing before the Judge. If a defendant is not eligible for PDP, he/she will have an initial hearing, in which he/she appears before the Judge and enters a plea of either "guilty" or "not guilty." If a defendant pleads "guilty", then a conviction will be entered on his/her record and he/she will be sentenced accordingly. If a defendant pleads "not guilty," then the case will be set for a pre-trial conference and a trial date; the defendant may be evaluated for a public defender (if one is requested) or may hire a private attorney, and the case will continue in court. IF A DEFENDANT FAILS TO APPEAR FOR A COURT DATE, A WARRANT FOR HIS/HER ARREST MAY BE ISSUED.
How can I change my initial court date?
Court dates may only be changed by order of the court. In order for that to happen, a defendant must wait until charges have actually been filed and the case has been assigned to a particular division of the Monroe Circuit Court. Once the case has been filed, the defendant may request a change of date from the office of the Judge presiding over that court. Defendants may utilize the http://mycase.in.gov/ website to see if charges have been filed and, if so, in which court they were filed. The Monroe County Prosecutor's Office cannot move/change/reset court dates.
Can I talk to someone about my case before my initial court date?
Staff from the Monroe County Prosecutor's Office may not speak with a defendant prior to him/her appearing in court and completing an Acknowledgement of Rights form. A defendant may contact a defense attorney prior to appearing in court.
Do I have to sign up for or pay anything toward PDP at my initial court date?
No. If eligible for PDP, a defendant will be sent to meet with PDP staff and be formally offered the program. Staff will go over the program and describe what the program is, what it does and does not do, and what the defendant will be expected to do in order to complete PDP successfully. The defendant will then be set for a court date that is usually 6 weeks later in order to decide if he/she wants to actually move ahead with PDP or go to court. The defendant is encouraged to talk with friends, family and/or an attorney to decide how he/she wants to proceed with his/her case. If the defendant chooses to go ahead with PDP, then he/she must pay his/her PDP fees and sign his/her actual PDP Agreement before that next court date.
How much does PDP cost/What do I have to do for PDP?
The costs and fees associated with PDP vary depending on the requirements a defendant must complete for the program. Requirements are determined based on the charges filed, circumstances of the case and the defendant's prior criminal background.
What happens if I decline PDP and go to court instead?
If a defendant does not participate in PDP, he/she will have an initial hearing, in which he/she appears before the Judge and enters a plea of either "guilty" or "not guilty." If a defendant pleads "guilty", then a conviction will be entered on his/her record and he/she will be sentenced accordingly. If a defendant pleads "not guilty," then the case will be set for a pre-trial conference and a trial date; the defendant may be evaluated for a public defender (if one is requested) or may hire a private attorney, and the case will continue in court.
I don't live in Bloomington or Monroe County. Can I still do PDP?
Most often, yes. It is not uncommon for PDP defendants to need to try and complete their PDP requirements outside of Monroe County, Indiana. PDP staff will try to assist defendants who are eligible and willing to do PDP but would find it a hardship to return to Monroe County after they have been offered PDP at their initial court date. It does, however, become chiefly the defendant's responsibility to work out where and how he/she will complete the requirements, and he/she must verify with PDP staff before completing requirements that everything is satisfactory.
Will PDP keep this incident totally off of my record?
PDP is designed to help a defendant keep a criminal conviction off his/her record with regard to the offense charged. If he/she successfully completes the program, the court record will show that the charge was dismissed. The benefit of PDP is that there is no criminal conviction and the defendant does not plead guilty. When asked if he/she has ever been convicted of or plead guilty to a criminal offense, a defendant may answer “no” with regard to the charge in a successfully completed PDP case. However, a record that an arrest occurred, or that the charge was filed in court, will not be expunged or erased. Police records of an arrest or citation are beyond the control of the Prosecutor’s Office. If a defendant is asked if he/she has ever been charged with a criminal offense, he/she must always answer “Yes.” Upon successful completion of the program, a defendant may specify that the charge was dismissed. In that case, when a background check is run the court record will show that an order of conditional dismissal was issued and the case was closed.
Can/will PDP staff discuss my case with anyone else (parents, spouse, etc.) besides me?
PDP defendants are legally adults in the State of Indiana, which means that PDP staff will not discuss any aspect of a criminal case with anyone except the defendant himself/herself or the defendant's attorney of record in the case. Defendants are encouraged to talk with friends, family or an attorney to determine if he/she wants to go ahead with PDP or go to court, but any and all questions must come from either the defendant or his/her attorney.
Terms of the Program
Alcohol Related Violations
A. Attend an alcohol education class
B. Complete Road Crew if applicable
C. Pay fees
Payment must be made by cash, money order made out to the Monroe County Clerk, bond, or credit card. Personal checks are not accepted. Payments may not be made online or over the phone. If a defendant pays by credit card, there will be an additional 18% fee added to the total. The defendant must be present with the actual card and card holder (if not using the defendant's personal card). To pay fees, defendants must first come into the Monroe County Prosecutor's Office during PDP walk-in hours (9:00 a.m. - Noon on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays only). Once fees have been processed, the defendant will schedule any applicable requirements and then sign an actual PDP Agreement. The defendant MUST complete this process by their next court date (assigned when the defendant is originally offered PDP) or else appear in court. If the defendant fails to sign a PDP Agreement or appear for court, a warrant will be issued for his or her arrest.