The Greenville Solicitor's office has started a special type of diversion program entitled the John Education Program. Successful completion of this program will result in a dismissal of a solicitation criminal charge, along with the eligibility to have the arrest expunged from your record. The Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC, accepts prostitution related charges throughout South Carolina, including all Greenville area courts. You can obtain a free consultation with an attorney by contacting us at 1-888-301-6004. What follows are some general questions about the John Education Program.
What is the John Education Program?
This is a diversion program for Greenville, South Carolina, prostitution charges. Completing the program is an alternative to pleading guilty, no contest or having a trial in Court. Those who successfully complete the program will have their criminal charge dismissed and can have the arrest removed from their record.
Does everyone charged get an opportunity to participate?
No. Only those cases where the prosecutor specifically consents to the referral are eligible. Also defendants must also have not gone through the program before, and only a limited prior criminal record. As criminal defense attorneys we assist our eligible clients who want to get referred into this program.
Will this program help protect my privacy?
Yes. Completing the program will result in your prostitution charge being completely dismissed. You will also be eligible to apply for an expungement of the arrest from your record. This means that later if anyone does a background check they will not see that you were ever charged or ever went through the program.
How is this different than pre-trial intervention?
PTI is a diversion program that can be used to resolve many different types of charges, including a non-violent felony. The John Education Program is only for prostitution charges. You can only go through PTI once in your lifetime. The John Education Program is a different program, so it may be available even if you have gone through PTI before. Also this program only requires you attend one meeting with a counselor and then one Saturday all day course. There are no requirements for community service, and it can be completed much quicker than the 90 day minimum for PTI.
I think I was falsely accused. Should I consider the program?
Maybe. You do not have to admit wrongdoing or be found in the wrong by the court order to go into this program. So even if you were falsely accused you can still benefit from the guaranteed dismissal the program provides. However if you believe that you are not guilty, you should also consider fighting your charge in court. Our office can help you decide which option is best for you during a free initial consultation.
What rights would I have to fight the charge?
Everyone charged with any Greenville prostitution charge has a right to a full jury trial. If it is a first offense the trial will be held in either Magistrate or Municipal Court with six jurors. All six must unanimously decide that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in order for you to be convicted. You also have other rights which include:
- A right to remain silent or to testify at your option
- A right to cross examine the police witnesses
- A right to have your lawyer argue defenses such as entrapment or mere presence to the jury
- A right to have the judge instruct the jury that you are presumed innocent of the charge
What is entrapment?
Entrapment is a possible defense to a prostitution charge. Basically it holds that if you were convinced to try to solicit a prostitute by the police, and weren't going to do it on your own, then you shouldn't be convicted. Just because the police ran a sting doesn't mean that the entrapment defense will work, but it is something that we look into.
What is mere presence?
Mere presence is a possible defense to a prostitution charge. This defense provides that you cannot be guilty of a crime based solely on your physical presence at a crime scene. So for example if you are simply present at a motel while the police are conducting a sting you should not be found guilty by the court.
If choose to go to court on my own and plead no contest what happens?
You will receive a publically available criminal record. The judge will also decide whether or not to fine you or sentence you to up to thirty days in jail.
Can I participate if I don't live in Greenville?
If you have a Greenville prostitution charge you may be eligible for this program. If you live outside of Greenville you will be required to appear, likely twice, for required meetings. If your case is outside of Greenville (for example Spartanburg or Lexington), then you will not be eligible for the Greenville John Education Program even if you happen to live in Greenville. In that event you may wish to consider pre-trial intervention (PTI).
How do I go about getting referred into the John Education Program?
The first thing you should do is consult with an attorney. Contact the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC, at 1-888-301-6004 for a free consultation. You'll have a chance to talk with a lawyer about your case and all of your available options, including the John Education Program. If you decide the program is right for you we can help you negotiate placement into the program, and can accompany you to all required court appearances that are part of the referral program.
Since not all police officers are aware of this program we may need to educate them regarding the availability of this program in order to gain their consent. Often times, the police officer who arrested you will be the prosecutor when your case comes to court. In some occasions that police officer must believe that you will be willing to fight your case in court before they will fully negotiate the charge, including considering a diversion program.
What is required if I choose to participate in the program?
When we are representing a client who has expressed an interest in the program the following steps are usually required:
- We make an appearance in Court on our client's behalf to request the referral. Once the officer and court agree the case will be sent out of court and to the program office. Our client may not be required to attend the initial court date.
- Our client then is required to meet with a program administrator and a psychologist in Greenville out application paperwork.
- Attendance at an all-day group educational program is required (currently begin scheduled on occasional Saturdays).
- There can be a total of three required appearances in Greenville.
- There are program fees to pay for the administration of the John Education Program, Expungement, and Psychologist. Program fees are collected at each stage of the case beginning with the initial appointment.
Although the program can be fairly time consuming for defendants who choose to participate, it is less involved than traditional pre-trial intervention, and can be the fastest way to obtain a dismissal and a record expungement.