Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office Neighborhood Justice Program (“NJP”) Allows Qualifying Offenders to Complete Program and Receive “No Filing” Dismissals for Certain Misdemeanor Offenses!

The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office has created and implements a pre-filing diversion program named the “Neighborhood Justice Program” (“NJP”) that allows people who commit certain misdemeanors to avoid going to court, having criminal charges filed against them, of being convicted, and of having a criminal record. This program began in 2015 and follows a restorative justice approach.

All first-offenders for misdemeanor offenses such as petty theft, vandalism, and misuse of a handicap placard may be eligible for the program. First-offenders for misdemeanor crimes such as DUI and domestic violence will not be eligible to participate in the program.

An offender selected for NJP appears before a panel of community members where they discuss the crime, the reasons for commission of the offense, and discuss the harm it has caused the community. The panelists, chosen from the community, then determine what obligations the participant must complete to rectify the harm caused. For example, the panel may give the offender community service, require them to write a letter or apology, pay restitution, and/or take classes related to the offense.

If the offender completes the requirements given by the panel, then criminal charges will not be filed (a dismissal of the charges). If, however, the participant fails to complete the requirements, the case returns to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office for prosecution.

Our office can help in the process by encouraging the prosecutor to deem you an eligible offender. This can be done by submitting documentation showing that circumstances surrounding the offense make you an eligible offender and presenting equity documents that show that you are worthy of entry into the program. The Neighborhood Justice Program is a discretionary program and the City Attorney’s Office has the discretion to determine who is eligible for admission to the program.

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