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.
THE PROSECUTING ATTORNEY’S DECISION
When deciding whether to press charges against those people arrested, prosecutors make their decisions from these basic categories:
Those arrested may be…
- Good people doing something stupid,
- Good people doing something bad,
- Bad people doing something stupid,
- Bad people doing something bad.
If you or a loved one is in the first category “Good people doing something stupid” these are usually the most difficult for prosecutors to deal with.
With the other three categories, the only prosecutorial outcomes a person can get if convicted are:
- Deferred Adjudication,
- Put on Probation,
- To go to Jail.
But Texas Government Code §76.011 does give a fourth option in the case of “Good people doing something stupid” and that’s Pretrial Diversion (PTD), again sometimes called pretrial intervention.
The criminal defense lawyers here at Blizzard and Zimmerman Attorneys stand ready to help if you’re faced with an arrest. Background information on PTD might be helpful to you.
DO I HAVE TO PLEAD GUILTY?
Most PTD (Pre Trial Diversion) agreements come with a waiver of rights & admission to the offense, but the agreement is NOT a plea.
The admission would be used against the individual IF the individual fails to complete the PTD terms & the state resumes prosecution.
This is just a high overview and doesn’t apply to every person/case, which is why you should discuss your situation with one of the criminal defense lawyers here at Blizzard and Zimmerman Attorneys.
PRETRIAL DIVERSION (PTD) – 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.
- And a conviction.
So you may continue to work and take part in 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 continue 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 lawyers 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:
- Describes the circumstances surrounding your arrest.
- Acceptance on your part 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:
- Family Responsibilities,
- Career Goals,
- 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 lawyer 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 lawyer consultation to review your case.
More information on PreTrial Diversions
The lawyers of Blizzard and Zimmerman work tirelessly to achieve the greatest possible results for each of our clients and their families. This is a selection of one of our many successful results, settlements, and verdicts. Every case and client is unique and depends upon the individual facts and circumstances of each case. Clients may or may not obtain the same or similar results in each case.