When facing a criminal charge, it is important to learn your available options in handling it. This can be done with the help of a trusted criminal defense attorney in your area who understands the law, the procedures of the criminal justice system, and how various offenses can be defended for optimum results.
One of those options that may be available to you is a Texas pretrial diversion program, also known as pretrial intervention. This is a program that can lead to the avoidance of a criminal conviction if you qualify for it and comply with all the conditions it requires.
How Does a Pretrial Diversion Program Work?
As its name suggests, this is a program that is done prior to any trial. It consists of a path for you to avoid prosecution. Once you enter and complete the program, the charges against you will be dismissed. However, you will be subject to the terms and conditions set by the court and, if you fail in that compliance, you can then face the prosecution you avoided in the first place.
A pretrial diversion program is a voluntary one. So, if you believe it is in your best interests, you should understand both the plus side and the minus side of taking advantage of this option.
As stated earlier, you will avoid conviction so you will not be spending any time in jail or prison and will be free to continue with your life, work, and normal activities. The minus side of this is that you will be required to plead guilty as part of entering the program. If you fail to complete the program or violate any court conditions, you are then open to prosecution that will take place with a guilty plea already in play.
What Court Conditions Will You Be Required to Complete?
The conditions you will be required to complete will be determined by the court handling your case and will be based on the type of offense you have committed.
Examples of court requirements can include:
- Community service hours as set by the court
- Staying out of any further trouble with the law
- Reporting regularly to a probation officer
- Undergoing alcohol or drug counseling or treatment
- Random drug testing
- Getting and keeping a job or staying in school
- Any other terms the court decides are relevant to your case
Who Is Eligible for Pretrial Diversion Program?
Eligibility will be determined based on the particular circumstances of your case but a few rules generally apply. These include that you are a first-time offender of a misdemeanor offense, you have not gone through a previous diversion program, your offense was not one of domestic violence nor was it gang-related, and was not a sexual offense (other than for prostitution).
Discuss Your Options with an Attorney at Shane Phelps, P.C.
To learn more about pretrial diversion programs, whether you qualify, and to get trusted counsel on whether to opt into such a program, you can turn to our firm. Attorney Shane Phelps has decades of criminal defense experience and can give you the trusted legal help you need at this critical time.
Contact us at (979) 773-7028 to arrange for a free consultation today.