If you are charged with a felony of the fourth or fifth degree, you may be eligible for treatment instead of being convicted under ORC 2951.041. To be eligible you must meet certain conditions. You can’t have any violent convictions on your record and the offense in question must not be violent in nature. Certain drug trafficking offenses are excluded also. Substance abuse, mental illness, intellectual disability, or if you yourself were a victim of human trafficking or compelled prostitution, must have been a factor leading to the criminal offense.
If eligible, you will meet with the Court’s probation department and likely undergo a dual mental health and substance abuse assessment. Although it varies by Court, once accepted into the program you will be on approximately two years of close supervision to ensure you’re following through with treatment. This usually includes completing an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) with a community health provider and attending several counseling or AA/NA meetings per week. Most Court’s also require that you either obtain your GED, attend school, and/or work full-time.
To be accepted, you must enter a plea of guilty to the charges you were indicted of; however, you will not be found guilty if you complete the program. The benefit of the program is that at the completion of it your case will be dismissed and you will not have a felony conviction on your record. If you do not follow the requirements of the program you may be removed from the program. If removed, you will be found guilty and sentenced to either community control or prison depending upon the reason why you were removed and your prior criminal history, among other factors.
On 10/29/18, Ohio law regarding intervention in lieu of conviction changed to allow people who were previously removed from the program to still be eligible. If you were previously removed from an intervention in lieu of conviction program and have pending charges you may now be eligible.
If you have been charged with a fourth or fifth degree felony and think you may be eligible for treatment in lieu of conviction, please call my office for a free consultation.