Texas law provides for the creation of pre-trial intervention or diversion programs for first-time offenders facing non-violent criminal charges. This program, if completed successfully by individuals, may result in the dismissal of the charges against them. This often is referred to as a pretrial diversion dismissal.
Not everyone is eligible for the pre-trial intervention program. For instance, anyone with a prior criminal history usually is not eligible for the program. You also must be enrolled in school or employed. You also must admit guilt and accept responsibility for having committed the crime.
You typically must formally apply for the program, write essays related to your offense, and submit to an interview with a probation official. You may also undergo fingerprinting and an FBI criminal background check.
Each participant in the pre-trial intervention program must complete an individualized plan based on their needs. Some common conditions in pre-trial intervention programs include the following:
· Community service hours
· Drug and/or alcohol rehabilitation classes, if either is appropriate
· Random drug testing
· Curfews and prohibitions on leaving the state without permission
· Installation of ignition interlock devices on vehicles
In most cases, individuals must pay an initial program fee, plus monthly probation supervision fees, but no fines or court costs. They also typically must pay restitution to any victims of the criminal act. The length of a pre-trial intervention program varies, but often lasts anywhere from 12 to 18 months. You also risk being removed from the program if you commit any new criminal offenses.
If you successfully complete the program, the pending criminal charges against you will be dismissed. This will leave you free to seek expunction of your arrest and dismissed charges in the future. One huge advantage to the program that is not available otherwise is your ability to completely clear your criminal history.
The criminal defense lawyers of Peek & Toland have handled the legal defense of countless individuals who are facing criminal charges. We are here to protect your rights and advocate on your behalf in order to get the best outcome possible in your case. Call our office today at (512) 474-4445 to set up an appointment with our criminal defense attorneys today.