Section 12-17-226.6

Acceptance into program; termination from program; completion of program; Restorative Justice Initiative; violations of terms or conditions.

(a) An offender who enters into a pretrial diversion program established under this division may satisfy any of the following requirements:

(1) Provide a statement admitting his or her participation in, and responsibility for, the offense which is the subject of the application for entry into the pretrial diversion program. The statement provided by the offender shall be admissible in any criminal trial.

(2) Agree, in writing, to the conditions of the pretrial diversion program established by the district attorney.

(3) If there is restitution, agree in writing to a restitution amount to be paid within a specified period of time, or for restitution to remain open for future changes due to the nature of the injury or loss pursuant to the agreement.

(4) If the investigating law enforcement agency incurred extraordinary investigative expenses, agree in writing to a specific restitution agreement to be paid within a specified period of time and in an amount to be determined by the district attorney.

(5) Agree in writing to the jurisdiction of the court beyond completion of any disposition of the case, end of sentence, or conclusion of the pretrial diversion program to enforce collection of restitution, cost of court, fines, fees, or other agreed upon or court-ordered monies, pursuant to Section 12-17-225.

(6) Agree to execute any agreement, covenant, note, or contract to pay any agreed upon sums of restitution, cost of courts, fines, fees, or other agreed upon or court-ordered monies, pursuant to Section 12-17-225.

(7) Submission, to a court of competent jurisdiction, of a written plea of guilty to the offense or offenses charged, agreed upon included offenses, or mitigated disposition, together with an agreement as to whether the case is to be dismissed or nolle prossed upon successful completion of the program, and an agreement as to the recommended sentence should one be imposed by the court. The agreement shall, as practicable as possible, set forth all fees, fines, cost, restitution, or any other conditions or expectations upon the offender or the state.

(b)(1) Upon acceptance of an offender into the program by the district attorney, the district attorney shall submit the written application of the offender, together with a statement of fact of the offense, and the agreement of the offender and the district attorney, to a court of competent jurisdiction presiding over the affected case for approval.

(2) The determination as to which judge within a judicial circuit or county will preside over the case shall be made according to the local approved method of criminal case assignment that is practiced in all other criminal case assignments within that jurisdiction. However, the district attorney and the presiding circuit judge may enter into an agreement as to an alternative method of case assignment for pretrial diversion cases to a judge pursuant to this division in order to serve judicial economy.

(c) If the offender is terminated from the program for a violation of agreed upon conditions, the administration fees shall not be refundable. However, if at the time the agreement is initially presented to the court, the court rejects the agreement and disposition of the charges involved, any monies paid by the offender in satisfaction of the administration fee shall be refunded to the offender. The offender shall remain liable for any agency or service provider in furtherance of the application and evaluation process, and the same shall be deducted from any money refunded to the offender. Any deducted money shall be paid solely to the office of the district attorney for payment of the expenses.

(d) Upon approval of the agreement and acceptance of the guilty plea, the court shall expressly place the case or cases in an administrative docket until such time that the court is notified that the offender has fulfilled the terms of the pretrial diversion agreement, upon motion of the district attorney that the offender has been terminated from the program by the court, or otherwise withdraws from the program. Imposition of punishment or sentence by the court shall be deferred until the offender has successfully completed the program or is terminated from the program, by the court or upon motion of the district attorney.

(e) In the event the offender is terminated from the program, the court shall impose appropriate punishment or sentence in the same manner as with any guilty plea, finding of guilt, or admission and shall not be bound by the terms of the agreement as to what punishment or sentence to impose.

(f) Upon successful completion of the program by the offender, the district attorney shall notify the court in writing of that fact, together with a request that the court enter an order of dismissal of the case pursuant to the agreement or any other disposition that was agreed upon by the district attorney and the offender and approved by the court.

(g) Pretrial diversion program records or records related to pretrial diversion program admission, with the exception of the statement of the applicant concerning his or her involvement in the crimes charged or other crimes, shall not be admissible in subsequent proceedings, criminal or civil, unless a court of competent jurisdiction determines there is a compelling public interest in disclosing the records. Communications between pretrial diversion program counselors and offenders shall be privileged unless a court of competent jurisdiction determines there is a compelling public interest in disclosing the communication.

(h) The district attorney and the presiding judge may establish a Restorative Justice Initiative within the judicial circuit for any case in the circuit or district court. The guidelines, rules, and mechanisms for such an initiative shall be promulgated by the Alabama Office of Prosecution Services and the Administrative Office of Courts.

(i) After any violation of any pretrial diversion program terms or conditions or upon any breach of any program agreement by the offender, the district attorney shall notify the court, and the district attorney may do any of the following:

(1) Terminate the offender from the pretrial diversion program.

(2) Require the adoption of a new agreement as a condition of continued participation.

(3) Continue with the agreement with or without modification.

(Act 2013-361, p. 1290, §7.)