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Brian Eppes

02 May 2016

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Tarrant County Diversion Programs Strive to Reduce Criminal Prosecution

Options for First-Time Offenders in Tarrant County and the Surrounding Area

 

While people with no previous history in the criminal justice system believe that the only possible outcomes to their case are not guilty verdicts or incarceration, the truth is that first-time violators frequently have programs that were created specifically for their unique situations. In addition to rehabilitative sentences that may involve community service, counseling, and/or drug or alcohol education courses, Tarrant County also has diversion and other kinds of programs for certain types of alleged violators and/or alleged offenses. Most diversion programs have a strict deadline to apply. It is important to hire a Tarrant County Criminal Defense Attorney as soon as possible to avoid missing the deadline.

 

Tarrant County Diversion Programs:

 

    • Deferred Prosecution Program (DPP) — DPP is available to those between 17 years of age and 26 years of age at the time of the alleged offense who have not been previously convicted or supervised for a Class B misdemeanor or above.  This program is run by the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office.  The term of supervision is four months for misdemeanor offenses and eight months for felony offenses.  Successful completion of the program entitles you to an immediate expunction of the records.

 

    • First Offender Drug Program (FODP) — First-time alleged drug offenders with no prior convictions, community supervision, or deferred adjudication may be eligible for this program.  The program is designed for minimal supervision with no progressive sanctions.  The misdemeanor program is 90 days long while the felony program is 180 days long.  Upon successful completion of the program, your case will be dismissed and eligible for expunction.

 

    • Mental Health Diversion Program (MHDP) – The MHDP is a pre-trial specialty-court program designed for those with previous mental health issues. Participants are given resources and support for long-term success. Participants are admitted after a referral process and Tarrant County District Attorney approval.  Successful completion will result in dismissal and expunction eligibility.

 

    • Veterans Treatment Court – The Veterans Treatment Court is designed for veterans who have found themselves involved with the Tarrant County Criminal Justice system. The goal is to provide tools for mental-health recovery and diversion from the criminal justice system.  The program is 8-24 months long.  Successful completion will result in case dismissal.

 

    • Public Safety Employees Treatment Court (PSETC) – This program is specifically designed for first responders charged with offenses in Tarrant County. The goal is to divert them from the traditional court system through successful rehabilitation. The program is 8-24 months long and will result in a dismissal of all charges upon successful completion.

 

    • Youthful Offender Diversion Alternative (YODA) – This diversion program is designed for offenders between the ages of 17 – 25 arrested for assaulting a non-intimate family member. The program is monitored and run by a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Participants must be willing to complete counseling and maintain and drug and alcohol-free lifestyle.  Completion of the program results in a dismissal of the assault charge.

 

    • Domestic Violence Diversion Program – Unlike YODA, this program is designed for offenders of all ages who have domestic violence charges in Tarrant County.  Offenders must complete a comprehensive screening and assessment before admittance into the program. The alleged victim must consent to participation as well. Successful completion results in a dismissal of a domestic violence charge.

 

Tarrant County Court Probation Programs:

 

    • Reaching Independence through Self-Empowerment (RISE) – The RISE Program is designed to help women with a lengthy history of prostitution offenses or prostitution-related offenses.  Upon admission into the program, the court will make participation a condition of probation.  The RISE Program identifies women who are willing to make a lifestyle change and helps in a variety of areas, including substance abuse, mental health, housing, employment, etc.

 

    • Felony Alcohol Intervention Program (FAIP) – FAIP is an intensive program for offenders with multiple DWI convictions. It is designed to coordinate alcohol abuse intervention with judicial oversight.  FAIP is a 4 year probation that combines the resources of several agencies to ensure the participant is given every opportunity to succeed.

 

 

Parker County Diversion Programs:

 

    • Family Violence Pre-Trial Intervention Program – This is a 12-month diversion program specifically designed for someone charged with domestic violence. Upon admission participants must complete a Substance Abuse Evaluation and/or Mental Health Evaluation at the Weatherford Access Center. Successful completion of the 4-phase program results in a dismissal of domestic violence charge.  You will be eligible for an expungement of domestic violence charge after a 2-year waiting period.

 

    • Parker County District Attorney’s Office Young Offender  –