What is First Offenders Domestic Violence Diversion?

Defendants accused of an act of Domestic Violence in Wake County may be eligible for a first-time offender program.  The most common charges that may be eligible for this program include are Assaults on a Female, Simple Assaults, Interfering with an Emergency Communication and Violation of a DVPO/50B Domestic Violence Protective Order.  If eligible, the defendant is given an opportunity to enter into a 12 month deferred prosecution agreement with the Wake County District Attorney’s Office and must abide by certain terms and conditions required as part of the agreement.  The most common term of the agreement is that the defendant be required to complete a state-approved Abuser Treatment Program and not commit any further acts of assault against the alleged victim, not commit any other criminal acts and report to court periodically during a 12 month period.  The Abuser Treatment Program is an intensive 26-week program offered in Wake County by Choosing to Change, Costran and Dose/Triangle Family Service.

Upon successful completion of all  of the terms and conditions of this deferral agreement, the defendant will appear in court to have his/her charges dismissed by the State.  These opportunities are beneficial for certain first-offenders and allow the defendant the chance to obtain some rehabilitation in addition to getting the charges dismissed.

However BEWARE of these agreements, because often times the State will impose a condition upon receiving this benefit that bars future expungement of the dismissed criminal charge(s).  This may be a significant impact upon the defendant since a school or employer may be able to find these charges on your criminal record.  In addition, entering into a first-offenders agreement requires that you admit your guilt to the criminal offense and this may impact many facets of your life, including deportation if you are not a United States citizen.