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Pretrial Diversion…Your 2nd Chance

You’re at the mall on a Friday night with your friends from high school or college. Sure, you have a part time job, but it doesn’t pay like it needs to. All of your buddies have the new iphone and, in a moment of compromise, you decide to discretely slide one of the display models into your pocket. Before you’re even 10 feet away from the store, you’re nabbed by mall security, taken to jail, and charged with a Class B Misdemeanor for theft.

In Texas, a criminal conviction stays on your record forever. It can prevent you from obtaining a job, renting an apartment, getting into college, and receiving federal benefits. Make no mistake, the consequences of a criminal conviction are far-reaching. Therefore, it is crucial that you do everything within your power to safeguard yourself against picking up a criminal conviction. Through Collin County’s Pretrial Diversion Program, which was created to balance the community’s interest in punishing crimes with its interest in correcting the criminal behaviors of young and/or first-time offenders, the District Attorney’s Office provides those offenders a 2nd chance.

What is the Pretrial Diversion Program in Collin County, Texas?

Collin County’s Pretrial Diversion program is essentially an agreement between a person charged with a criminal offense and the Collin County District Attorney’s Office, where the person agrees to a period of supervision by the Collin County Community Supervision Department and further agrees to a number of conditions during the supervision period which usually include community service, restitution to the victim, certain classes or programs, along with an agreement to refrain from any further criminal activity. In exchange, the Collin County District Attorney’s Office agrees to file a Motion to Dismiss the criminal charge upon the person’s successful completion of the program.

The most important benefit of the Pretrial Diversion Program is that successful completion of the program makes the person charged with a criminal offense eligible for a complete and immediate expunction of the arrest, prosecution, and the entire court case. This means that the person’s criminal record will remain clean as if the whole criminal ordeal never happened.

I’ve Been Charged with a Crime in Collin County, Texas. How do I get into the Pretrial Diversion Program?

First of all, you must have an attorney. The Collin County District Attorney’s Office will refuse to submit a person facing criminal charges to the Pretrial Diversion Program without one. Furthermore, the District Attorney doesn’t make Pretrial Diversion part of their standard offer in any case. Therefore, your attorney must specifically request that you be considered for the Pretrial Diversion Program.

Once a request for consideration has been made and the District Attorney approves you, you are sent paper-work to be reviewed by you and your attorney. Then, you are required to personally schedule an interview with the Probation Office. During the interview, the Probation Office will seek to screen out habitual offenders and people who have serious drug problems. In addition, the Probation Office will require you to complete an affidavit in which you admit your guilt regarding the offense you have been charged with. Essentially, this is a sworn confession, and it can and will later be used by the District Attorney, should you violate the terms of the Pretrial Diversion Program. Once the interview is complete and you are accepted into the program, you simply have to stay out of trouble while abiding by the terms and conditions of the program.

Can I get my Charge Dismissed with Pretrial Diversion in Collin County, Texas

As with most legal questions, the answer is maybe. As stated above, in order to be considered for the Pretrial Diversion Program in Collin County, Texas, you must be represented by an attorney. In addition, not all people who have been charged with a criminal offense in Collin County will be eligible for the program. Therefore, please feel free to contact me at (972) 372-4054 for a free consultation to discuss whether or not you may be eligible for Pretrial Diversion.