Harris County Pre-Trial Diversion (Intervention) Program
In Texas, there are two kinds of probation (community supervision): probation and deferred adjudication. With probation, the person receives a criminal conviction but his jail or prison sentence is probated. With deferred adjudication, the person does not receive a conviction so long as he successfully completes the terms of the deferred adjudication. In both instances, the person is supervised by the probation department.
Another option to avoid a conviction is Pre-Trial Diversion. This option is more difficult to obtain, however if it is successfully completed a person’s criminal case will be dismissed, and he will have an opportunity at some point to get his record expunged. In order to qualify for a Pre-Trial Diversion, the most important requirement for a person seeking entry into the program is to have a clear criminal record. Usually, even a previously dismissed criminal case will prevent someone from being accepted into the program.
Community Service Requirements for Pre-Trial Diversion
In misdemeanor cases (other than the Divert Program for DWI cases which is very different), the contract for the Pre-Trial Diversion program is for 6 months. The amount of community service on the misdemeanor contracts is only 16 hours.
Pre-Trial Diversion and Expunction of Criminal Records
Individuals accepted into the Pre-Trial Diversion program on most class B misdemeanor cases (such as a typical shoplifting case) can seek an expunction of their criminal case record right after they finish the program and their case is dismissed. As it usually takes about 60-90 days from the arrest date to be accepted into the program, this means that a person could get their record expunged within 8-9 months of being arrested.
Certain misdemeanor offenses require a 2 year waiting period to seek an expunction after completion of the program. These misdemeanors are:
- Assault of a Family Member
- Resisting Arrest
- Deadly Conduct
- Terroristic Threat
- DWI (under the DWI PTI Program)
All other class A misdemeanor cases not mentioned above have a 1 year waiting period.
All other class B misdemeanor cases not mentioned above do not have a waiting period.
If you were charged with a felony or misdemeanor in Harris County, contact Attorney James (Jim) Sullivan at 281-546-6428 to discuss your case and whether or not it is suitable to seek entry into the Pre-Trial Diversion program.