Diversion Programs for Criminal Defendants in Tarrant County, Texas




Diversion Programs for Criminal Defendants in Tarrant County, Texas

If you have been charged with a crime, there are often alternative programs you may qualify for that, when offered by the Criminal District Attorney, can provide a way to successfully dispose of your case without long term consequences. These are called Diversion Programs. Diversion programs play a critical role in offering alternatives to traditional prosecution. These programs are designed to rehabilitate offenders, reduce recidivism, and alleviate the burden on the court system. But most importantly, for those individuals accused of a crime, diversion programs often allow for an expunction of the criminal record if the program is successfully completed. As a criminal attorney in Fort Worth for many years, I have experience with these programs and have had many clients successfully dispose of their cases in this manner. Here, we will explore the various diversion programs available in Tarrant County, detailing their purposes, processes, and benefits.  Most diversion programs in Tarrant County are offered prior to any kind of trial. That is why they are often called “pre-trial diversion programs.” Diversion programs largely focus on rehabilitation over punishment and are for those who desire to make a change. They include supervision and counseling and provide individuals with the tools and support needed to make positive changes.  Inclusion in a diversion program is not guaranteed and can be difficult to get into. You need an attorney who will do everything possible to get you approved for a particular program.  And there are strict requirements once admitted. If you do not complete the requirements, you will be expelled from the program and you will continue to be prosecuted.  The following are diversion programs offered in Tarrant County. There are strict time limits and application requirements. If you have been accused of a crime in Tarrant County, please contact me as soon as possible to see if you would be eligible to apply for one of the programs. 

Tarrant County Deferred Prosecution Program (DPP) The Deferred Prosecution Program in Tarrant County is a pre-trial diversion initiative designed to give first-time, non-violent offenders an opportunity to avoid the consequences of a criminal conviction. Instead of proceeding through the standard judicial process, eligible defendants can enter into a contract where they agree to fulfill certain requirements. Successful completion of the program results in the dismissal of charges, allowing participants to file for an expunction to clear their criminal history of any arrest record.  Additional information about the DPP program can be found here. 

Tarrant County Veteran’s Court Diversion Program The Veteran’s Treatment Court is a diversion program for veterans of our armed forces and are currently facing criminal prosecution. These individuals, who have bravely served our country, often face unique challenges upon returning to civilian life. Issues such as PTSD, substance abuse, and other mental health conditions can lead to behaviors that result in criminal charges. The Tarrant County Veterans Court Diversion Program offers a lifeline to these veterans, providing an alternative to traditional prosecution and focusing on rehabilitation and support. Additional information about the Veteran’s Court Diversion Program can be found here. 

Tarrant County First Offender Drug Program (FODP) The First Offender Drug Program is a diversion program for low risk/low needs first-time drug offenders. It is a program that comes with minimal supervision and is focused on those individuals that would be considered “self-correctors.” This program is aimed at allowing non-violent offenders an opportunity to address and correct a mistake.  Additional information about the First Offender Drug Program can be found here. 

Tarrant County First Responder Program This program, also known as the Tarrant County Public Safety Employees Treatment Court (PSETC), is a pioneering initiative aimed at supporting police officers, firefighters, paramedics, and other public safety officials who face mental health challenges resulting from their demanding and often traumatic work. Recognizing the unique pressures and risks associated with these professions, the program provides an alternative to traditional criminal prosecution for first responders who find themselves in legal trouble due to job-related mental health issues. Instead of punishment, the focus is on treatment and rehabilitation, helping these essential workers address the root causes of their problems and return to their duties with improved mental health and well-being. This innovative approach not only aids the individuals involved but also strengthens community trust and enhances public safety across Texas. Additional information about the First Responder Program can be found here.

Tarrant County Mental Health Diversion Court The Tarrant County Mental Health Diversion Program (MHDP) offers an alternative to traditional prosecution for individuals with serious mental illnesses charged with non-violent offenses. It aims to address the root causes of criminal behavior through individualized treatment plans that include therapy, medication management, and other supportive services. Defense attorneys play a crucial role in identifying eligible clients, advocating for their admission, and guiding them through the process. The program benefits defendants by reducing recidivism, avoiding incarceration, and potentially leading to reduced charges or case dismissal, ultimately promoting long-term stability and improved quality of life. Additional information about the Tarrant County Mental Health Diversion Court can be found here.

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