Local Rules of Court


RULE 26 - Pretrial Diversion Program

(A) In accordance with R.C. 2935.36, a defendant may be eligible to participate in a pretrial diversion program. Upon motion of the prosecutor, or on either the court’s own motion or motion of defendant with the consent of the prosecutor, the court may permit a defendant to enter into a diversion program or initiate an investigation into an alleged offender’s eligibility to participate in the pretrial diversion program. The purpose of the diversion program is to permit individuals charged with certain, specified non-violent offenses the opportunity to avoid a criminal conviction. Participation in the program is a privilege, not a right, and may not be used to evade or delay responsibility. The court may not permit a defendant to enter into a diversion program without the consent of the prosecutor, but the prosecutor may not unreasonably deny consent. The court reserves the right to inquire into grounds for approval or denial by the prosecutor for participation in the diversion program.

(B) The pretrial diversion program is generally limited to offenses involving:

(1) Alcohol related offenses not otherwise excluded, including violations of R.C. Chapter 4301 and/or Lakewood Codified Chapter 529.

(2) Offenses involving drugs of abuse or controlled substances, including possession and drug paraphernalia, if the offense is either a minor misdemeanor or fourth (4th) degree misdemeanor.

(3) Housing, building, health safety or zoning code offenses. These cases are generally limited to owner occupied housing units, but with the consent of the prosecutor and valid, additional grounds, may include non-owner occupied housing units.

(C) Eligibility factors include:

(1) Non-violent offenses or convictions.

(2) No pending criminal charges.

(3) No prior diversion.

(4) No current or previous probation status.

(5) Prior criminal or traffic record.

(6) No pending warrants

(7) Cooperation with law enforcement officers/building inspectors.

(8) Evidence of remorse.

(9) Any other factor that the court or prosecutor may determine to be relevant.

Upon motion of the prosecutor, for good cause and in the interest of justice, the limitations set out in this rule may be waived for offenses which are not otherwise excluded by R.C. 2935.36.

(D) Conditions of the diversion program may include:

(1) Abide by all laws during the diversion program.

(2) Abstain from use of alcohol and/or drugs of abuse.

(3) Random drug screens.

(4) Community work service.

(5) Continued education, including G.E.D. classes.

(6) Obtain employment.

(7) Pay restitution.

(8) Pay required court fees and costs.

(9) Execute any required release of information.

(10) Comply with any other appropriate terms imposed by the court.

(E) The administration of this program shall be conducted under the supervision of the prosecutor's office and/or court's probation department.

(F) In order to be considered for the program, a defendant must enter a plea of no contest to the charge(s) and waive any right to speedy trial. The court shall hold its findings in abeyance pending the defendant’s participation in the diversion program. As a condition of participation in the diversion program, the defendant must agree to a waiver of any periods of limitations established by statute or rules of court and any other provisions as are necessary to accomplish the objectives of the diversion program.

(G) All persons referred to this program may be assessed a fee. The court, upon its own motion or upon request of prosecutor or defendant, may waive any administrative fee for any individual defendant who is indigent and unable to pay the fee or for other grounds in the exercise of the court’s discretion.

(H) Any court costs or fees paid to the clerk of court shall be received and deposited in accordance with the Charter of the City of Lakewood, the Codified Ordinances and any applicable provisions of state law.

(I) Each defendant accepted into this program must agree and if applicable, sign an agreement setting out the conditions of participation in the program. The program shall be considered successfully completed when all those conditions contained are met. The case may be advanced and/or an arrest warrant issued in the event of failure to comply with the conditions of participation. If the defendant fails to comply with the conditions of participation, the defendant may be removed from the diversion program and brought to trial upon the charges in the manner provided by law. The defendant shall be advised of the right to withdraw the no contest plea and/or waiver of right to speedy trial.

(J) If the defendant successfully completes the program, the case may be dismissed.