How Pretrial Diversion Works in Houston, TX

27 May 2022
Greco Neyland, PC

A pretrial diversion can sometimes help you avoid conviction. It allows you to agree to certain conditions in order to avoid a criminal conviction. You have to make it all the way through the program and meet the conditions for the charges to be dropped.

Studies have shown that diversion programs are exceptionally effective. They even help some who are charged with crimes get services they need, such as mental health services.

There have even been some high-profile offenders who have gone through pretrial diversion. For example, Texas Judge Romero Molina recently completed the program after being arrested for a DUI. He was asked to attend an alcohol education program, perform 24 hours of community service, and submit to random alcohol testing.

In order to take advantage of a pretrial program, you’ll have to enter a guilty plea. If you fail to meet the terms of the program the prosecutor will proceed with the case and you’ll proceed to sentencing, because you’ve already pled guilty. The crime will end up on your criminal record.

Who is eligible for pretrial diversion?

You are eligible for pretrial diversion if you are:

  • A first-time offender.
  • Have never been in pretrial diversion before.
  • Are charged with a misdemeanor.
  • Are not a documented member of a gang.

Pretrial diversion is unavailable if you have been charged with a crime related to family violence or sexual violence. It is primarily a program for nonviolent offenders.

Your attorney will have to help you make a favorable case for why you are a good candidate, and you’ll need to provide supporting evidence such as letters of reference, school transcripts, resumes, and other information. You will have to write an essay and submit to an interview with a probation officer.

What conditions will be set in pretrial diversion?

The conditions will depend on the facts of your case. They could include:

  • Completing community service hours.
  • Attending counseling or attending a counseling program.
  • Seeking treatment for drug or alcohol problems.
  • Avoiding additional criminal activity.
  • Drug testing.
  • Seeking employment, or maintaining it.

You will usually be required to report to a probation officer and to keep that officer appraised of your address, employment situation, and whereabouts.

Is pretrial diversion my only option for avoiding jail time?

Not at all. We may be able to make a plea bargain on your behalf, one that includes a provision for doing community service or paying a fine instead of going to jail. In some cases we may be able to convince the prosecutor to drop or dismiss the case.

When you work with our team you work with lawyers who will work hard to find every possible solution for minimizing the impact being charged with a crime will have on your life.

If you’re in trouble, get help today. Reach out to our office to schedule a case review today.

See also:

How Does Bail Work in Houston, TX?

How to Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent After a Houston, TX Arrest

What Should You Do if There’s a Warrant Out for Your Arrest in Houston, TX?

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