Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Diversion and Rep. Briley

Much is being said - from Bill Hobbs to Volunteer Voters - about the diversion that Rep. Rob Briley received for his multiple offenses (which, through the wonders of YouTube, we all witnessed).

One of the points of contention is that Briley's attorney commented to the press that the State had no choice but to grant Briley a diversion.

As someone who has been instrumental in at least a half dozen diversions being handed out in December alone, I can say with 100% certainty that Briley's attorney, Frank Lannom, is incorrect in his assertions. Diversion is not automatic. Usually, the State and the Defense can come to an agreement where diversion is granted, but there are cases where the State, for whatever reason, believes diversion to be inappropriate. In that case, the Defendant's attorney can complete more paperwork and take the matter to the trial judge for argument. That judge then can elicit testimony from both sides and weigh several statutory factors in choosing whether or not to grant the diversion.

That being said, in many cases, the judge, who probably has his suspicions as to why the State is fighting the diversion application, usually errs on the side of caution and denies the diversion request. At least, that is how I see it through my experience in the courtroom.

Was this a slam dunk diversion? Not from my perspective, given the amount of media coverage, the egregious behaviors exhibited by Rep. Briley, and the fact that people's lives were endangered by the actions of the Defendant. It's that last one that tends to be the ace in the hole for the State, and I believe that it would have been reason enough for Briley to have been denied diversion in this situation.

Labels: ,

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?