Maricopa County Attorney’s Office Diversion Programs offer an alternative to traditional case processing so certain individuals accused of committing a crime may participate in a community-based education or treatment program that addresses behavioral change. The Deputy County Attorney carefully evaluates cases for offense eligibility and offender suitability for each diversion program. Ultimately, reducing recidivism while preserving limited prosecutorial resources is the primary goal of diversion.
Pursuant to A.R.S. § 11-361 et seq., the County Attorney has sole discretion to divert or defer the prosecution of a person accused of committing a crime to an authorized diversion program. County Attorney Bill Montgomery has authorized the following diversion programs:
The program began in 1989 as an education and treatment program for individuals meeting eligibility criteria and suspected or charged with crimes involving possession of controlled substances. The program is available as a charging alternative (pre-file) and after charging, as an alternative to prosecution (post-file). Participants who successfully complete the program can avoid criminal charges being filed against them or can have filed charges dismissed with prejudice to avoid a felony conviction.
Felony Pretrial Intervention Program (FPIP)
The program began in 2015 as a cognitive-behavioral treatment program for individuals charged with specific Class 4, 5 and 6 felony offenses. Along with other prescribed eligibility criteria, individuals must have a minimal criminal history and are low risk to reoffend. The program is available as a post-charging alternative. Participants who successfully complete the program can have filed charges dismissed to avoid a felony conviction.
Justice Court Diversion
The program began in 2008 as an education program for individuals meeting certain eligibility criteria and charged with committing specific misdemeanor offenses. The program is available as a post-filing charging alternative. Participants who successfully complete the program can have filed charges dismissed with prejudice to avoid a misdemeanor conviction.
Arizona Retail Tobacco Training (ARTT)
A focused justice court diversion program offered through the Maricopa County Department of Public Health and the Arizona Attorney General's Office for those individuals and businesses cited for furnishing tobacco to a minor. Participants who successfully complete the program can have filed charges dismissed with prejudice to avoid a misdemeanor conviction.
Child Abuse Diversion
The program began in 2002 for adults who care for children in a parent or guardian role and are suspected of using excessive child discipline. The program is available as a felony pre-file charging alternative. Participants who successfully complete the parenting program can avoid criminal charges being filed against them.
Check Enforcement Program
The program began in the late 1980’s as a free service to individuals and businesses who are the recipients of checks not honored at a bank due to insufficient funds or a closed account.
The Maricopa County Probation Department administers Juvenile Diversion Programs. Juveniles are generally eligible for diversion upon their first and second misdemeanor offenses and first-time drug-related offenses. Juvenile diversion programs are varied.
For more information on the Maricopa County Diversion Programs, please contact the Maricopa County Diversion Program Bureau at: 602-372-7300