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Man charged with illegally boarding aircraft may not do jail time

This past May, a 43-year-old man was arrested after he allegedly drove his vehicle through a fence at the BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport in Baltimore, Maryland. According to the Maryland Transportation Authority Police (MDTA), the man then drove through what was a secure area and went onboard a plane that was unoccupied. He was carrying a backpack when he boarded the small plane, although police said there was noting suspicious inside.

The man was charged with three airport offenses and two misdemeanors; however, a spokeswoman for the state's attorney office said that the man may be admitted into a diversion program.

In Maryland, diversion programs are used to offer prison alternatives, including rehabilitation programs, to those who have committed lesser crimes.

While the man did undergo a medical evaluation soon after the May incident, a MDTA police spokesman didn't comment on what the results were. The man was initially charged in district court, but when he was not able to obtain legal counsel, he filed in circuit court for a jury trial.

If it is determined that the man is not eligible for a diversion program, district court prosecutors will then continue to pursue the charges.

Those who have been charged with "lesser crimes" do need to determine if they are eligible for diversion programs. These programs can help defendants avoid prison time, and, in many cases, the charges may be dropped at the end of a successfully completed program.

An attorney can provide information on whether you might be eligible for a division program if you are charged with a minor offense.

Source: Aviation Pros, "MD: Man Accused of Driving Through BWI, Entering Aircraft Could Avoid Prison," Dec. 04, 2017

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