Interviewer: It sounds like it definitely takes an attorney in order to slot you into the right program and to be able to give you a sense of the severity and to know even which program that you qualify for.
Lauren Scardella: That’s true. Again, even though the charges get dismissed at the end of the probationary period, these are one‑time programs. You can’t take it now and then have something else happen in the future and get another diversionary program. It’s really to a person’s benefit to retain an attorney to look at their case and make sure that the State really can prove the allegations, because if they can’t, and the person uses the diversionary program simply because they were eligible for it, they’re wasting an opportunity to potentially use that diversionary program sometime down the road when they really need it.
Interviewer: This is not a first resort; this is more of a last resort. You may have a very defensible case and not need to take this, right?
Lauren Scardella: Exactly. You need to look at it not as something that you want to take because it’s the easiest thing to do. You want to look at it as something that you want to take only after you’re certain that the State can prove their case.