Diversion is an alternative available to some juveniles to avoid formal prosecution. The County Attorney has sole discretion to divert prosecution and determine which offenses are eligible for diversion (A.R.S. Section 8-321). Through diversion, a juvenile is given the opportunity to admit to the allegations contained in the referral and receive a consequence in lieu of the formal court process. Consequences can include:
- Unpaid community service work
- Fines or restitution
- Completion of educational, rehabilitative, or counseling programs
If the juvenile successfully completes diversion, his/her obligation to the state (and victim when applicable) is satisfied and a petition is not filed. The outcome cannot be used against the juvenile in any further proceedings and there is no adjudication of incorrigibility or delinquency. If the juvenile is non-compliant with diversion, the referral is sent back to the County Attorney who may then decide to file a petition.