Pretrial diversion programs do exactly what the name implies and diverts a criminal case before trial. When a person is offered the opportunity to participate in a pretrial diversion program, their criminal charges could end up being dismissed if they successfully complete the program.
Pretrial programs are typically offered to alleged offenders facing criminal charges for the first time, but other people could be eligible in certain circumstances. It is usually the district attorney overseeing a criminal case who has the power to allow an alleged offender to participate in a pretrial diversion program.
Pretrial Diversion Programs Defense Lawyer in Fort Worth, Arlington, Grapevine, Keller, Southlake, TX
If you or your loved one were arrested for a criminal offense in the greater Tarrant County area and are hoping for possible pretrial diversion, you can give yourself the best chance of being offered such an option by working with an experienced attorney. The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy helps clients throughout Tarrant County get approved for pretrial diversion programs.
Pretrial Diversion Programs in Tarrant County
Tarrant County has a number of diversions or specialty court programs. Here’s a list of available Tarrant County Diversion Programs :
Tarrant County First Offender Drug Program (FODP) — The Tarrant County FODP offers a second chance for low-risk, first-time drug offenders with the goal to divert first-time drug offenders out of the court system and into a rehabilitative court-supervised program that, if completed, will leave them without a criminal record. FODP is designed to enhance public safety, reduce crime, hold offenders accountable, increase sobriety among drug offenders, reduce costs to our community, and ultimately reduce congestion in the criminal court dockets.
Tarrant County Deferred Prosecution Program (DPP) — People under the age of 24 with no prior marks on their criminal record can use this program. The DPP is a limited supervision program designed to give a young person in trouble for the first time the chance to rehabilitate himself or herself without the stigma of a criminal conviction. Common offenses eligible for DPP include possession of marijuana and shoplifting. If participants successfully complete the program, their case will be dismissed and the arrest will be eligible for an expunction.
Tarrant County Deferred Prosecution Initiative (DPI) — The Tarrant County Deferred Prosecution Initiative (DPI) is a new deferred prosecution program for first-time offenders who are facing certain drug charges, especially marijuana and THC cases. If you successfully complete the program, your case will be dismissed.
Tarrant County Drug Impact Rehabilitation Enhanced Comprehensive Treatment (DIRECT) Program — Tarrant County’s DIRECT Program is a judicially-supervised program designed to treat people accused or convicted of drug-related offenses, rather than imprisoning them. Those who complete DIRECT have their cases dismissed or probation shortened. Those who don’t complete the program face prosecution.
Tarrant County Felony Alcohol Intervention Program (FAIP) — FAIP is a specialty program designed to treat high-risk offenders who have had three or more DWIs. FAIP participants accept a plea bargain in which they are placed on probation for four years, with time in jail as a condition of probation. An individual who is in FAIP will be revoked to a seven-year sentence if they violate the conditions of FAIP probation.
Tarrant County Domestic Violence Diversion Program — The Domestic Violence Diversion Program targets domestic violence or violence between intimate partners. Not all family violence offenses are eligible for this program as it is meant for individuals who were in a dating relationship or marriage.
Tarrant County Youthful Offender Diversion Alternative (YODA) — YODA provides counseling and case management to first-time offenders aged 17 and 25 who have been arrested for simple assault against a non-intimate family member (defined as a blood relative, related by marriage or intimate relationship with another family member).
Tarrant County Other Behavioral Intervention with Assault Non-Family Program (OBI WAN) — OBI WAN is an extension of the YODA program for first-time defendants between the ages of 17 and 25 with simple assault cases involving victims who are not family members.
Tarrant County DWI Court — The Tarrant County DWI Court Program focuses on individuals who are charged with DWI-Misdemeanor Repetition with the goal of preventing high-risk, high-needs individuals from reoffending. This is a post-plea program that suspends some fees and time in jail as a condition of probation.
Tarrant County Mental Health Diversion Program — Tarrant County Mental Health Diversion Program (MHD) is a pre-trial, post-booking diversion program for mentally impaired offenders. The program offers offenders a treatment option that is judicially supervised. The mission of the Mental Health Court Diversion Program is to identify mentally impaired offenders and expedite them through the criminal justice system.
Tarrant County Veteran’s Court Diversion Program — The Veteran’s Court Diversion Program is a diversion program for Justice-Involved Veterans who are currently facing prosecution for one or more criminal cases. The program offers offenders a treatment option that is judicially supervised for veterans or current members of the United States Armed Forces, including members of the Reserves, National Guard, or State Guard.
Tarrant County SWIFT Program — SWIFT, or Supervision With Intensive enForcemenT, uses a progressive sanction model to initiate change in the behavior of probationers. The Tarrant County SWIFT program is a post-plea intensive probation program that gives high-risk, high-need offenders an opportunity to change — and immediate sanctions for violations. The program is overseen by state District Judge Mollee Westfall and is aimed at motivating noncompliant probationers to follow the rules.
Reaching Independence through Self-Empowerment (RISE) Program — The mission of the RISE Program is to identify vulnerable women with extensive histories of prostitution or prostitution-related offenses, expedite them through the criminal justice system and help them achieve abstinence from all mood-altering substances, mental stability, permanent housing and educational/work opportunities that provide them with the legal means to maintain a healthy, productive lifestyle. The vision of the RISE program is that every woman reaches her full potential and lives a healthy, productive, drug-free, and non-criminal lifestyle. The RISE program seeks to identify women who have a history of experiencing significant trauma in their past which has contributed to their involvement in the criminal justice system.
This involvement commonly results in charges of prostitution, controlled substance violations, and theft. With the consent of an individual’s attorney, the person is contacted by a member of the RISE staff. Program prospects are then evaluated through the use of validated assessment instruments and a clinical interview. The goal is to identify individuals who possess the greatest likelihood of achieving positive lifestyle change through participation in counseling and treatment. If selected, the person is offered admission. If the person chooses to participate, she will enter a plea of guilty and receive a probated or deferred sentence with the requirement that she enter and successfully complete the RISE program. An individual treatment program is designed to meet the individual’s needs. The program is monitored by a case manager. Additional support received includes mental health, medical, mentorship, housing, job training, education, life skills, etc.
The participants report to court twice a month where they appear before the judge and give an account of their progress. Program length will vary depending on the needs of the individual. A person who has many prior convictions can expect to be in the program for two or more years. However, instead of prison, we offer a path to stable housing, steady income, and a successful lifestyle. As this is a success-oriented program, we recognize there will be some amount of noncompliance with program requirements. If the treatment team believes the individual is continuing to make strong overall progress and continues an attitude compatible with program goals, the program is willing to work through these issues.
However, there are limits, and individuals who are persistently non-compliant have been and will be terminated and sent back to the originating court for further proceedings. It is the mission of the RISE program is to remove participants from the criminal justice system and restore them to a crime-free, substance abuse-free, and mentally stable lifestyle. It is critical to the mission that the participants desire this change and are willing to make the sacrifice necessary to achieve and sustain it.
Pretrial Diversion Program Requirements
The community supervision department will typically be responsible for overseeing participants in pretrial diversion programs. Some of the conditions of pretrial diversion could include, but are not limited to:
- Report to the probation officer as directed
- Perform a specified number of hours of community service
- Permit the probation officer to visit your home and workplace
- Commit no offense against the laws of Texas or the United States
- Obtain and maintain employment
- Provide income verification
- Do not associate with individuals with criminal records
- Do not change residence without court approval
- Avoid injurious or vicious habits
- Avoid persons or places of disreputable or harmful character
- Pay all court fines and related fees
- Remain within the county unless granted permission to leave by the probation officer
- Abstain from the use of alcohol or controlled substances
- Submit to random urinalysis
- Support dependents
You will have to submit an initial application to be considered for a pretrial diversion program and an essay could also be required in some cases. An interview by a probation officer is also a common requirement.
The specific conditions that are imposed need to be complied with because a single violation could be catastrophic. A violation could lead to the prosecutor proceeding with the criminal case and subjecting the alleged offender to the same underlying penalties.
On top of this, the failure to complete a pretrial diversion program can be used against an alleged offender during a trial. It is never a good situation to have a jury be informed that a person was afforded an opportunity for a more lenient sentence but could not comply with basic requirements.
Sealing a Criminal Record After a Pretrial Diversion Program
Even when an alleged offender successfully completes their pretrial diversion program and criminal charges are dismissed, the record of that person’s arrest will still exist. Such a record can still create a number of headaches for people.
You should discuss possibly filing an order of nondisclosure that will allow you to have your criminal record sealed. Expungement (or expunction) is only available to people who were acquitted of the crimes for which they were charged, were convicted but subsequently found to be innocent, were convicted but were subsequently pardoned, were charged but the case was later dismissed and the statute of limitations has expired or was arrested but not formally charged.
Texas Pretrial Diversion Resources
Domestic Violence Diversion Program – tarrantcounty.com — Learn more about specialty courts on this section of the Tarrant County website. Also, find information about different Tarrant County drug courts and programs. Additional information is available about other programs and services.
Pretrial Diversion Program | Department of Justice — Visit this section of the Department of Justice website to learn more about the federal pretrial diversion program. Learn more about eligibility criteria and pretrial diversion procedures. In the majority of cases, offenders are diverted at the pre-charge stage.
Find A Tarrant County Defense Attorney for Pretrial Diversion Programs | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy
Are you or your loved one hoping for pretrial diversion after a recent arrest in Dallas or a surrounding area of Texas? Give yourself the best chance of being accepted into a program by retaining legal counsel.
The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy can fight to get your underlying criminal charges possibly reduced or dismissed. We will discuss all of your legal options with you as soon as you call (817) 422-5350 or contact us online to receive a consultation.