When charged with a crime, you usually have a few options regarding how you proceed with your case. In some cases, you have the option of entering into a diversion program that may allow you to avoid a criminal conviction.
Courts understand that sometimes people make mistakes or end up in bad situations. They know that sometimes people charged with a crime simply need some help and guidance to get their lives back on track. For these reasons and many more, Texas offers diversion programs for eligible defendants. It is best to talk to your Austin criminal defense lawyer before determining if a diversion program is right for you.
What is a Diversion Program?
A diversion program is a type of sentencing. Usually, diversion programs fall under the umbrella of the local police department, court, district attorney's office, or an unaffiliated agency. Diversion programs are voluntary and designed to allow criminal offenders to better themselves while avoiding criminal charges and a resulting criminal record. They can be used as a sentencing alternative upon conviction, a sanctioning alternative to revocation, and they are shown to decrease the numbers of repeat offenders.
Some diversion programs are specifically designed to serve juvenile offenders and give them an alternative to formal processing. You can get more information on the pretrial programs from an experienced Austin criminal defense attorney.
Pretrial and Felony Diversion Programs
Also known as deferred prosecution, pretrial intervention, accelerated pretrial rehabilitation, and accelerated rehabilitative disposition, a pretrial diversion program is designed for offenders facing misdemeanor or criminal charges. In this type of program, the defendant does not need to face prosecution unless they do not complete it. Pretrial diversion usually involves probation, counseling, community service, and other actions that the participant needs to complete. Upon successful completion of a pretrial diversion program, it is recommended that the court dismiss the defendant's charges.
Felony diversion programs are afforded to defendants who meet specific criteria. They are under supervision for at least one year and as much as two years. Any new arrests will automatically revoke the defendant's participation in the program.
Pretrial Diversion Program Eligibility
Both of these types of programs are only offered to those that meet specific eligibility criteria. Your Austin criminal defense lawyer can help you determine if you might meet the criteria and if participating in the program is a good option in your case.
To be eligible for a pretrial diversion program:
- This must be your first offense
- You cannot have previously been in a pretrial diversion program
- Your charges cannot be related to family violence
- If you face charges of a sexual nature, you are not eligible, unless the charge is prostitution
- You cannot be a recognized member of a gang
Get Help from a Knowledgeable Austin Criminal Defense Attorney
We take your charges seriously at Granger and Mueller PC. However, we also work to find and utilize the best options that fit individual clients. Some clients are eligible for a pretrial diversion program and successfully complete it. Other clients are not eligible or, for one reason or another, do not complete the pretrial diversion program. Even if you are not eligible or have failed the program, we can help mitigate the consequences you could face for criminal charges.
Get a free case consultation with an Austin criminal defense lawyer by calling 512-474-9999 or completing our online contact form.