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Title XXXVIII CRIMES AND PUNISHMENT; PEACE OFFICERS AND PUBLIC DEFENDERS

Chapter 557

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  557.014.  Prosecution diversion program — definitions — authority of prosecuting attorney — requirements and provisions applicable to prosecution diversion — completion and disposition of charges. — 1.  As used in this section, the following terms shall mean:

  (1)  "Accusatory instrument", a warrant of arrest, information, or indictment;

  (2)  "Accused", an individual accused of a criminal offense, but not yet charged with a criminal offense;

  (3)  "Defendant", any person charged with a criminal offense;

  (4)  "Deferred prosecution", the suspension of a criminal case for a specified period upon the request of both the prosecuting attorney and the accused or the defendant;

  (5)  "Diversionary screening", the discretionary power of the prosecuting attorney to suspend all formal prosecutorial proceedings against a person who has become involved in the criminal justice system as an accused or defendant;

  (6)  "Prosecuting attorney", includes the prosecuting attorney or circuit attorney for each county of the state and the City of St. Louis;

  (7)  "Prosecution diversion", the imposition of conditions of behavior and conduct by the prosecuting attorney upon an accused or defendant for a specified period of time as an alternative to proceeding to adjudication on a complaint, information, or indictment.

  2.  Each prosecuting attorney in the state of Missouri shall have the authority to, upon agreement with an accused or a defendant, divert a criminal case to a prosecution diversion program for a period of six months to two years, thus allowing for any statute of limitations to be tolled for that time alone.  The period of diversion may be extended by the prosecuting attorney as a disciplinary measure or to allow sufficient time for completion of any portion of the prosecution diversion including restitution; provided, however, that no extension of such diversion shall be for a period of more than two years.

  3.  The prosecuting attorney may divert cases, under this program, out of the criminal justice system where the prosecuting attorney determines that the advantages of utilizing prosecution diversion outweigh the advantages of immediate court activity.

  4.  Prior to or upon the issuance of an accusatory instrument, with consent of the accused or defendant, other than for an offense enumerated in this section, the prosecuting attorney may forego continued prosecution upon the parties' agreement to a prosecution diversion plan.  The prosecution diversion plan shall be for a specified period and be in writing.  The prosecuting attorney has the sole authority to develop diversionary program requirements, but minimum requirements are as follows:

  (1)  The alleged crime is nonviolent, nonsexual, and does not involve a child victim or possession of an unlawful weapon;

  (2)  The accused or defendant must submit to all program requirements;

  (3)  Any newly discovered criminal behavior while in a prosecution diversion program will immediately forfeit his or her right to continued participation in said program at the sole discretion of the prosecuting attorney;

  (4)  The alleged crime does not also constitute a violation of a current condition of probation or parole;

  (5)  The alleged crime is not a traffic offense in which the accused or defendant was a holder of a commercial driver license or was operating a commercial motor vehicle at the time of the offense; and

  (6)  Any other criteria established by the prosecuting attorney.

  5.  During any period of prosecution diversion, the prosecuting attorney may impose conditions upon the behavior and conduct of the accused or defendant that assures the safety and well-being of the community as well as that of the accused or defendant.  The conditions imposed by the prosecuting attorney shall include, but are not limited to, requiring the accused or defendant to remain free of any criminal behavior during the entire period of prosecution diversion.

  6.  The responsibility and authority to screen or divert specific cases, or to refuse to screen or divert specific cases, shall rest within the sole judgment and discretion of the prosecuting attorney as part of their official duties as prosecuting attorney.  The decision of the prosecuting attorney regarding diversion shall not be subject to appeal nor be raised as a defense in any prosecution of a criminal case involving the accused or defendant.

  7.  Any person participating in the program:

  (1)  Shall have the right to insist on criminal prosecution for the offense for which he or she is accused at any time; and

  (2)  May have counsel of the person's choosing present during all phases of the prosecution diversion proceedings, but counsel is not required and no right to appointment of counsel is hereby created.

  8.  In conducting the program, the prosecuting attorney may require at any point the reinitiation of criminal proceedings when, in his or her judgment, such is warranted.

  9.  Any county, city, person, organization, or agency, or employee or agent thereof, involved with the supervision of activities, programs, or community service that are a part of a prosecution diversion program, shall be immune from any suit by the person performing the work under the deferred prosecution agreement, or any person deriving a cause of action from such person, except for an intentional tort or gross negligence.  Persons performing work or community service pursuant to a deferred prosecution agreement as described shall not be deemed to be engaged in employment within the meaning of the provisions of chapter 288.  A person performing work or community service pursuant to a deferred prosecution agreement shall not be deemed an employee within the meaning of the provisions of chapter 287.

  10.  Any person supervising or employing an accused or defendant under the program shall report to the prosecuting attorney any violation of the terms of the prosecution diversion program.

  11.  After completion of the program and any conditions imposed upon the accused or defendant, to the satisfaction of the prosecuting attorney, the individual shall be entitled to a dismissal or alternative disposition of charges against them.  Such disposition may, in the discretion of the prosecuting attorney, be without prejudice to the state of Missouri for the reinstitution of criminal proceedings, within the statute of limitations, upon any subsequent criminal activity on the part of the accused.  Any other provision of law notwithstanding, such individual shall be required to pay any associated costs prior to dismissal of pending charges.

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(L. 2019 H.B. 547)


---- end of effective   28 Aug 2019 ----

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