If you’ve been arrested on criminal charges, you may want to learn more about Texas pretrial diversion, sometimes called pretrial intervention. Here at Blizzard and Zimmerman Attorneys, this has been a successful option for a number of our clients facing criminal charges.

In short, this program is a way that you may avoid a conviction and have the charges dismissed once you meet certain conditions.

You should discuss your situation with one of the criminal defense lawyers here at Blizzard and Zimmerman Attorneys, but some background information might be helpful.

PRETRIAL DIVERSION – HOW DOES IT WORK?

The Texas criminal justice system offers pretrial diversion as a way for certain offenders to avoid prosecution, so long as they meet eligibility rules and comply with conditions set by the District Attorney’s office. It’s a voluntary program, with pros and cons you need to know before you opt in.

Pluses:  The charges against you are put on HOLD, then they’re dropped once you complete the terms of your pretrial diversion. You avoid probation, jail, and a conviction so you can continue work and regular activities.

Minuses: You waive your right to self-incrimination and admit to the offense as part of the arrangement. If you violate the terms of your pretrial diversion, the prosecutor can resume in pursuing the case against you.

ELIGIBILITY AND APPLICATION

There are exceptions and some flexibility related to the pretrial diversion program, however, some of the general guidelines, although they’re not set in stone, are:

  • You must be a first-time offender,
  • You cannot have a history involving a previous pretrial diversion,
  • No sexual offenses,
  • No DWI/DUI involving an accident,
  • No DWI with blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.15 or more.

If you meet these and other qualifications designated by law, you can apply for pretrial diversion.

Some jurisdictions and/or defense attorneys require or request:

  • A written application and documents that support it, such as:
    • Your personal resume, a well-rounded view of your work-related and non-work-related accomplishments and experiences,
    • Your references, a list of professional and personal contacts that can testify to your character, skills and abilities,
    • School transcripts, a record of all your academic accomplishments in high school and college,
    • A list of achievements, and other favorable information.

You will do some writing. You must submit an essay that:

  1. Describes the circumstances surrounding your arrest.
  2. Acceptance that what you did to get arrested was wrong.

Any attempt to deflect blame or make accusations isn’t viewed favorably.

Then you write a second essay. This should include a narrative on why you want to avoid jail, such as:

  1. Family responsibilities,
  2. Career goals,
  3. And/or Educational objectives.

You will also participate in an interview with a pre-trial services investigator or officer, who will ask your questions about your written materials and other relevant topics.

WHAT ARE THE CONDITIONS OF PRETRIAL INTERVENTION IN TEXAS?

If your application is accepted, you will be required to comply with certain terms and conditions.

The charges against you will be dismissed once you complete the program.

Every case is different, but some examples of pretrial diversion requirements may include:

  • Completing a designated number of community service hours;
  • Attending counseling and/or educational sessions based upon the offense, such as drug or alcohol treatment.
  • Avoiding additional criminal activity.
  • Regular pre-trial diversion drug testing.
  • Reporting to a pre-trial services officer.
  • Paying Program and/or Supervision fees.
  • A curfew.
  • NO ALCOHOL.
  • NO DRUGS.
  • NO FIREARMS.
  • Many others, depending on your situation.

**** Please Note: This is a general synopsis of pretrial intervention here in Texas. Each case and each jurisdiction in the state is different.

This is why you should consult with a local attorney who knows the local policies and rules that govern it.

Blizzard and Zimmerman Attorneys have the tenacity and dedication to give your case the time and attention it requires.

Contact our team today to schedule a one-on-one attorney consultation to review your case.

Blizzard and Zimmerman Results-

Pre-Trial Diversion for False Report to Police Officer