If the state of Texas charges you with a criminal offense, you will typically need to go to trial if you hope to defend yourself. Some people plead guilty to avoid a trial, while others seek pretrial diversion as a way to avoid a formal criminal conviction.
Pretrial diversion involves someone cooperating with special programs instead of mounting a criminal defense. If they qualify and successfully complete the program organized by the courts, they can avoid a conviction and criminal penalties.
What standards must you meet for pretrial diversion?
1. This must be your first offense
A pretrial diversion is generally only an option for someone who does not already have a criminal record. A prior arrest that did not result in criminal charges will not prevent you from seeking pretrial diversion. However, records of a prior pretrial diversion case will disqualify you.
2. The offense must be a misdemeanor
Texas places numerous restrictions on which kinds of offenses allow someone to qualify for pretrial diversion. Typically, felonies immediately disqualify you. Certain kinds of offenses, like domestic violence charges, are also not eligible for pretrial diversion.
3. You cannot have connections to a gang
Even if you have avoided criminal charges, a documented connection to a known gang will prevent you from qualifying for pretrial diversion in Texas. Provided that you meet all three of these standards and fulfill the requirements set by the courts in your case, you can avoid the worst consequences possible when the state alleges that you broke the law.
Considering all of your options for criminal defense, including pretrial diversion, will help you move on from a recent brush with the law.