Judicial Diversion (FAQs)

The information below regarding Judicial Diversion IS NOT legal advice.  If you have any questions or concerns about your criminal charge(s), then you should consult an attorney.  The District Attorney IS NOT your attorney. If you don’t have an attorney and need legal advice, please contact the Knoxville Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service at 865.522.7501 or apply for a court-appointed attorney.

  • Judicial Diversion is a type of probation for first-time offenders who plead guilty.
  • It allows first-time offenders to learn from their mistakes and keep criminal charges off their record.

  • Anyone who has never been convicted of a Class A Misdemeanor or Felony offense in any state; AND
  • Anyone who has never received Judicial Diversion or Pretrial Diversion on any prior criminal charge(s).  [Note that certain charges like DUI are not able to be diverted]

  • Follow the instructions on the Judicial Diversion Application Process form and apply online to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI).
  • The TBI charges a $100 fee that you must submit to the TBI directly.
  • The District Attorney’s Office will inform you of your eligibility or ineligibility to be placed on Judicial Diversion on your next court date.

  • If the Court places you on Judicial Diversion, then you will be on PROBATION.
  • You will be required to pay court costs in full by the end of your diversion period.
  • You will be required to maintain good conduct – no new arrests, convictions, or criminal charges.
  • You may be required to do one or more of the following: Pay a fine; Perform community service; Pay restitution to a victim or business; Report to a probation officer; Undergo treatment and/or counseling; Stay away from a victim, witness, property, or a business

  • If you violate any requirement of your Judicial Diversion, then the Court may issue a Violation of Probation (VOP) warrant against you, which may subject you to immediate arrest.
  • The Court may also revoke your Judicial Diversion and enter a conviction against you, which may then prevent you from keeping a clean criminal record.
  • The Court may also sentence you to serve time in jail, and/or increase the requirements of your probation.

  • If you comply with all requirements of your Judicial Diversion, then the Court will automatically dismiss the charge(s) against you after your Judicial Diversion period has ended.
  • You will then be eligible to file a form called an Order of Expungement that will erase or remove any public records pertaining to your arrest and probation.  Expungement of a Judicial Diversion requires payment of a $100 non-refundable filing fee to the Clerk’s Office. You can receive assistance from the District Attorney’s Office and the Clerk’s Office by attending Expungement Screening.

For more information about Judicial Diversions, click here.