When the police arrest you and the state charges you with a crime, you will have to go to court. Even if you plead guilty, an appearance in criminal court is likely necessary. If you want to defend yourself against those charges, you may spend a significant amount of time in a courtroom. What happens in court will largely become part of the public record and could impact your life for years to come.
Usually, people will face a criminal trial after their arrest. However, some people may qualify for diversion through the specialty courts. What should you know about the specialty courts in Texas?
Specialty courts focus on rehabilitation
The purpose of the Texas criminal courts is to enforce and interpret state statutes. Someone charged with a crime will face incarceration, fines, probation and other penalties if they plead guilty or the court convicts them.
If someone qualifies for adjudication in a specialty court, they may be able to avoid a criminal record and many of the worst criminal penalties. There are different kinds of specialty courts in different areas. In McLennan County, for example, there is a DWI/Drug court that serves adults accused of certain offenses.
If you qualify to have your case seen in specialty courts, then the focus would likely be on rehabilitation, such as alcohol or drug abuse treatment. A judge will oversee your progress, and you may have a period of inpatient care in some cases. If you successfully complete all of the requirements established by the courts, you could avoid the criminal record that often results from a guilty plea or conviction in Texas.
Learning more about pretrial diversion options in Texas can help you respond to criminal charges.