Belmont County Prosecuting Attorney

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52160 National Road
St. Clairsville, Ohio 43950

Phone: (740)699-2771
Fax: (740)695-4412
Mon. – Fri. 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m

52160 National Road
St. Clairsville, Ohio 43950
Phone: (740)699-2771
Fax: (740)695-4412
Mon. – Fri. 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m

The Diversion Program

The Diversion Program is an alternative method to divert youth efficiently yet effectively with a first offense from formal involvement in the juvenile justice system. All Juvenile Courts in Ohio are mandated to have a Diversionary Program. Referrals to the Diversion Program are received by the Belmont County Juvenile Court through the form of a Complaint being filed by the Office of the Belmont County Prosecuting Attorney. Only youth who have committed a first offense (unrelated to a traffic violation and/or illegal substance usage) and are alleged to have committed a misdemeanor offense by the standards of the Ohio Revised Code are eligible to participate in the Diversion Program, at the discretion of the Court.

After the Complaint is reviewed and determined to be Diversion Program eligible, the Juvenile and parent(s) are notified in writing by the Diversion Program Coordinator of the date and time of the scheduled conference. To participate in the program, the youth must admit the charges stated in the Complaint are substantially true; a program fee of $75.00 is to be paid; and the youth and parent(s) must be willing to cooperate and abide by the terms of an Agreed Order. Through the Agreed Order, the Diversion Coordinator establishes appropriate consequences such as curfews, informal license suspensions, counseling, no-contact orders with co-defendants and victims, writing assignments and/or reports, verification of school attendance, community service, electronically monitored house arrest, and drug/alcohol screening.

If the Juvenile and parent(s) cooperate and abide by the program guidelines, the Complaint will not be filed in the Belmont County Juvenile Court for formal action by the Judge, nor will the case result in a permanent juvenile record. The typical timeframe of involvement in the Diversion Program is ninety (90) days, however, this varies depending on the Juvenile’s compliance and progress.

Upon successful completion of the program, all Diversion files/records are sealed immediately resulting in no permanent record within the juvenile justice system. If the youth denies or disputes the charges, the scheduled conference is canceled, and the Complaint will then be filed for the Juvenile to appear in Court before the Judge to respond to the charges.