Leaders in Duval County, Florida are taking steps to reduce the burden on the ever rising price tag on criminal prosecution and incarceration of individuals. The cost to punish those who commit a crime is getting more and more expensive. Leaders are called upon to find ways to save taxpayer dollars while still allowing the punishment to fit the crime. One way is through Diversion programs.
What is a Diversion Program?
Pre-trial diversion programs are designed to reduce costs, teach an offender a lesson and not ruin a person’s life for making a mistake. Duval County, utilizes 4 diversion programs for youthful offenders. Juvenile Drug Court, which is a program designed to cure crimes motivated by drug addiction, Neighborhood Accountability Boards, which is a program where volunteers assign sanctions, Teen Court, where teenagers assign sanctions, and the Youthful Offender Program, which is a diversion program through the State’s attorney office.
Tarrant County is no different than Duval County, Florida discussed in the attached article from the Florida Times-Union. http://jacksonville.com/news/crime/2016-03-26/story/diversion-programs-help-kids-avoid-criminal-records-while-saving#
Tarrant County offers a wide range of diversion programs to achieve the goals mentioned above.
- First Offender Drug Program (FODP) is for first time offenders charged with certain drug offenses. The participant will enter a plea of guilty to participate in the program. The program is 90 days long. If the participant is successful the charges would be dismissed.
- Deferred Prosecution Program (DPP) is a limited supervision program designed to give a youthful offender the chance to rehabilitate himself or herself without the stigma of a criminal conviction. DPP is only an option to those aged 17 to 24 and who have not been previously convicted or supervised for a Class B offense or higher.
- Youth Offender Diversion Alternative (YODA) is geared toward young offenders who are charged with offenses of family violence to non-intimate relatives.
- Tarrant County Felony Alcohol Intervention Program (FAIP) is a type of felony probation geared toward those charged with Felony DWI charges.
- Prostitution Program (RISE) is a prostitution intervention probation designed to give those charged with this type of offense a chance at leaving that lifestyle behind.
- Mental Health Diversion Program (MHDP) is a diversion program designed for those that suffer from mental health issues.
- Veteran Diversion Program is a diversion program for those charged with certain offenses who are or were members of our Armed Forces.
- DIRECT Court Drug Program is a post felony probation program for those charged with drug offenses.
Each Tarrant County diversion program has its own eligibility requirements, it is important to consult an experienced attorney. Former prosecutors, Andrea Townsend, Steven G. Gebhardt, and Brian S. Eppes of Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC, are experienced criminal defense attorneys in Tarrant County, Texas. They are familiar with the program requirements of each diversion program and will appropriately recommend you for each program based on the facts in your case.
Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC zealously represents individuals facing any criminal charge, including driving while intoxicated (DWI), drug offenses, marijuana offenses, family violence, and theft.
Contact Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC or submit an online form to schedule a confidential consultation.
Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC diligently defends individuals in Fort Worth and Arlington areas as well as Weatherford, Cleburne, and nearby communities in Parker County and Johnson County.