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diversion

n. in criminal procedure, a system for giving a chance for a first- time criminal defendant in lesser crimes to perform community service, make restitution for damage due to the crime, obtain treatment for alcohol or drug problems and/or counselling for antisocial or mentally unstable conduct. If the defendant cooperates and the diversion results in progress, the charges eventually may be dismissed. Usually diversion may not be granted for a second offense.

See also: probation 

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The People's Law Dictionary by Gerald and Kathleen Hill Publisher Fine Communications