Alternative Prosecution Program
Being charged with a misdemeanor can be a harrowing experience, especially for people who have never been in trouble before. However, in many instances first-time offenders facing misdemeanor charges may be eligible for the Alternative Prosecution Program, commonly known as “APPS,” conducted by American Justice Associates. The APPS program is a diversion program that provides an alternative to criminal prosecution and, if successfully completed, results in the dismissal of misdemeanor charges.
Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Kraut was educated at Harvard Law School and worked as a senior prosecutor before opening the Kraut Law Group. As a former prosecutor he knows how to get his clients into alternative sentencing programs in order to divert a case from criminal prosecution. If a client successfully completes the program, they will be free of a criminal record. He has developed relationships with prosecutors and judges that assist him in getting his clients into diversion programs.
APPS has been a supportive arm of the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office since 1995, and is widely used by all branches of that office. With the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, the APPS program is a pre-filing alternative to criminal prosecution. Other prosecutorial agencies also utilize the APPS program. For example, the Burbank City Attorney frequently refers offenders to the program after charges for diversion after charges have been filed, but before a defendant is required to enter a plea. The program is gaining in popularity amongst the various prosecution agencies throughout Los Angeles County.
The program is extremely convenient for people with a busy lifestyle, as it does not require countless hours of live classes and counseling. The APPS course is a home-study program. The isolated environment is intended to prevent any sense of camaraderie or commonality between participants. The program includes an intensive 40-minute video that details what happens after an arrest and the harsh realities of incarceration. It also teaches techniques for impulse and behavior control. The Course also requires participants to complete a 50-page comprehensive workbook that deals with the consequences of conduct, victim impact, goal setting and self-esteem building. In addition, there may be charge specific material that must be completed for various alcohol, drug and sex related offenses.
The APPS program covers a wide array of misdemeanor offenses. Some of the most common are Minor in Possession of Alcohol (BP 25662), Minor in Possession of a Fake ID (BP 25661), Possession of Marijuana (HS 11357(b)), Petty Theft (PC 484(a)), Lewd Conduct (PC 647(a)) and Hit and Run without Injury (VC 20002(a)). It is important to remember that APPS only handles non-violent misdemeanors, therefore most assault and battery charges would not be eligible for this program.
Diversionary programs like APPS are beneficial as they allow offenders to avoid a criminal conviction on their record, if the individual completes everything they are supposed to do in a timely manner. Having a criminal conviction can cause major problems in all areas of life, including housing, jobs and licensing, thus a diversionary program can be invaluable.
Prosecutors can be reluctant to refer cases to diversionary programs like APPS. Often, it takes the effort of a skilled Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney to convince the prosecutor and the court to take a chance on someone and allow them to enter a diversionary program. Michael Kraut is a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney with over 14-years of experience as a senior deputy district attorney with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. Mr. Kraut is adept at working with prosecutors, both pre-filing and after charges have been filed, to get his clients into diversionary programs and keep them from having criminal records.
For more information contact a Los Angeles Diversionary Program Attorney Michael Kraut about programs like APPS and the various defenses for your case, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.