After you get arrested the first question most people have, is whether or not they can get their case dismissed. Every case is different. This guide will help answer that question and help you determine whether or not you qualify for a program called, Pre-Trial Diversion (PTD).
What is Pre-Trial Diversion?
For decades in Texas, there were three ways of punishing someone for a crime. These ways are 1) Jail/Prison 2) Probation (which, in Texas, is a conviction on your record) suspends jail or prison time while the judge sees if you can follow your conditions of probation 3) Deferred Adjudication, a special kind of probation where if you follow your conditions the case is dismissed (but it stays on your record for the rest of your life). All of these results are bad, in one way or another, for the accused. Professionals, people who couldn’t accept deferred adjudication were often forced to take cases to trial to give themselves even the smallest chance of getting the case dismissed. What usually happened is that people would lose careers as the result of minor criminal offenses.
So, there is a fourth alternative; Pre-Trial Diversion. Pre-Trial Diversion or PTD is given at the discretion of the prosecutors. That means the State can say yes or no to your application. No one is entitled to Pre-Trial Diversion or PTD, but if you get accepted you are entitled to an expunction once you complete the program.
Am I Eligible for Pre-Trial Diversion?
Nobody automatically gets Pre-Trial Diversion in Bexar County. Your attorney needs to convince the prosecutors to allow you to apply and approve your application for Pre-Trial Diversion. At The Locke Law Group, we have gotten many of our clients PTD. We do this by presenting our client as a whole person. This is important because the prosecutors need to see that the accused is more than the crime they are accused of committing.
Is there anyone who CAN’T Get Pre-Trial Diversion?
The prosecutors make a case-by-case determination as to who is eligible for Pre-Trial Diversion. However, there are some circumstances where a person is NOT eligible for PTD. If someone has a criminal record they will not be eligible for PTD. If there is a victim (or complaining witness) who does not want the accused to get PTD, many times this will mean that the prosecutors won’t approve or allow the accused to apply for PTD. Still, a criminal defense attorney’s job is to convince the prosecutor or ADA to make exceptions. At The Locke Law Group, we have had several of our clients who have been denied the ability apply, apply for PTD after we convinced the State that our client was worthy of the application.
A good criminal defense attorney is constantly explaining risk and presenting options. A great criminal defense attorney creates options that didn’t previously exist for their clients. Getting arrested is scary. We can help manage the process so you can come through the other side with as few consequences as possible.