April 20, 2022

A depiction of a criminal defense attorney in Houston explaining the benefits of pretiral deversion programs in Texas.

Suppose you commit a first-time criminal offense in Texas. In that case, you may be eligible for one of many pretrial diversion programs. This article discusses the pros and cons of diversion programs in Texas, including:

  • What Are Pretrial Diversion Programs in Texas?
  • Advantages Vs. Disadvantages of Pretrial Diversion Programs
  • When To Contact a Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you’re facing your first felony or misdemeanor offense, it’s in your best interest to consult with a top-rated criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. At The Napier Law Firm, we focus our efforts on reduced charges, dismissed cases, and diversion programs.

Contact us today for a free consultation with a proven crimnal defense attorney. Continue reading to learn more about Texas diversion programs in the Houston area.

What Are Pretrial Diversion Programs in Texas?

Texas diversion programs can be placed into three categories. They include:

  • Sentencing alternatives after a conviction
  • Sanctioning alternatives to revocation
  • Reducing the likelihood of future criminal acts

Generally, most diversion programs include all three types of diversions. In most cases, after a defendant successfully completes their diversion program, they can apply to have the criminal charges expunged from their record.

However, suppose a defendant engages in criminal activity or otherwise breaks the terms of their first offender program in Texas. In that case, they will face the initial charges and penalties all over again. If you’re unable to meet the terms of your pretrial diversion program, it’s not the end of the world. We can help. Contact us today to discuss the details of your case.

Advantages of Pretrial Diversion Programs

For many people, Texas pre-trial diversion programs offer a second chance at redemption and the possibility of a clear criminal record. With that in mind, there are countless benefits to successfully completing a Texas pretrial diversion program. They include but are not limited to:

  • Avoid Jail Time – Most Texas diversion programs allow defendants to complete their program in lieu of going to jail or prison. That can help individuals keep their job, housing, and family connections.
  • Reduced Recidivism – Pretrial diversion programs have proven to be an effective tool in slowing recidivism rates. Individuals who are given an alternative to jail time often take advantage of their newfound blessing and turn their lives around for the better.
  • No Conviction – In many cases, pretrial diversion programs offer defendants the chance at rehabilitation and a clear criminal record so long as they complete the program.
  • Record Expungement – Those who meet the requirements of their program can eventually apply to have their criminal record expunged. That means that most employers will not be able to see the arrest or outcome of the case on your criminal record.

Generally, it’s a good thing if you have the opportunity for pretrial diversion instead of a conviction. It offers you a second chance that could make all of the negatives traditionally associated with a conviction disappear over time.

Disadvantages of Pretrial Diversion Programs (Myth vs. Fact)

Some lawyers would have you believe that there are cons to pretrial diversion. However, in most cases, there simply are no disadvantages. Listed below are common myths about the disadvantages of first offender programs in Texas.

Myth #1: Pretrial Diversion Programs lead to deportation for non-citizen immigrants

Perhaps if you’re not working with a savvy attorney, this may be true. However, an experienced criminal defense lawyer in the Houston area would tell you that most pretrial diversion agreements don’t have to be filed with the courts or be a formal agreement. Therefore, there is no public record of it ever existing. This fact is critical in keeping your criminal case and immigration status seperate.

Myth #2: If you don’t complete the program, you will be convicted and go to jail

It’s possible but not necessarily true. Generally, defendants who fail to meet the terms of their pretrial diversion program must go back to court and face the original charges all over again. However, a proven criminal defense attorney can potentially negotiate a new deal with the prosecution, including reentrance into a pretrial diversion program.

If all else fails, you still have a chance to prove your innocence in court. It’s never advisable to neglect the terms of a diversion program. However, if you do, you should hire an attorney you can trust to obtain the best possible outcome in your case.

Contact A Criminal Defense Attorney in Houston Today

Are you facing criminal charges in Houston, Texas? If so, you need an attorney who knows the law, advocates for your rights, and will stop at nothing to achieve the best results for you and your family under the circumstances.

Whether you’re facing first-time misdemeanor or first-time felony charges, our attorneys are here to fight for your freedom and a cleared criminal record. Contact The Napier Law Firm today to schedule a free initial consultation about your case.