Pretrial Diversion Programs

For many first-time and/or nonviolent offenders, a pre-trial diversion program is a welcome reprieve from the lasting effects of a criminal conviction. In addition to becoming eligible for a dismissal of charges upon completion, the defendant usually also receives needed services like a drug and alcohol education class or treatment. In Texas, what pretrial diversion programs exist for what charges varies county by county.

The Dallas-Fort Worth area has several pretrial diversion programs that are available for a whole list of charges—unfortunately, DWI is not one of them. The closest defense strategy to a pretrial diversion program for your DFW DWI case is contracting with an experienced Dallas County DWI defense lawyer to fight for a favorable outcome.

Pretrial Diversion

Dallas DWI Pretrial Diversion Lawyer

Texas has one of the highest DWI rates in the country and is also the state with one of the most punitive stances on DWI consequences. Unfortunately, for some Texas counties like those in the DFW metroplex area, this means that attractive options like a DWI pretrial diversion program are not available even to first-time DWI offenders in Dallas.

If you have been arrested and charged with DWI in Dallas County, Denton County, Collin County, Tarrant County, Rockwall County, Kaufman County, Parker County, Grayson County, Johnson County, Wise County,  or Ellis County, working with the experienced DWI defense attorneys of Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy could be the next best strategy for obtaining a favorable outcome for your DWI case to a pretrial diversion program.

For your free case consultation on how the DWI defense lawyers of Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy will protect your rights and work for a reduction, dismissal, or other favorable outcome in your DWI case, call (972) 233-5700 today.

DFW Pretrial Diversion Program Information Center

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Dallas County Pretrial DWI Intervention with Prosecution

The lack of a pretrial diversion program for the Dallas metroplex does not mean that there are no favorable options available to your case. First and foremost, a dedicated and knowledgeable DWI defense attorney serving Dallas-Fort Worth should always be ready and willing to fight for a not guilty verdict at trial.

There are, however, several steps in the pretrial process where your attorney can conference with the prosecution and try to work for a more favorable outcome, which usually includes plea bargaining for a lesser charge such as obstructing a highway or reckless driving. The job of the prosecutor, after all, is to serve justice in the public interest rather than winning as many cases as possible.

Factors that affect the willingness of the prosecution to reduce or dismiss usually include a caseload of the county docket, your prior criminal history if any, your risk for becoming a repeat offender, your willingness to rehabilitate if needed, and the strength of the state’s case against you. This last point is important – your attorney can either intervene with the prosecution and attempt to show them the weaknesses in their case or work to weaken the prosecution’s case and potentially force their hand through the following methods:

  • Proof of procedural violations by law enforcement
  • Proof of violation of constitutional rights
  • Lack of probable cause
  • Proof of inaccurate or unreliable BAC or urine tests
  • Proof of preexisting physical condition not related to alcohol that led to suspicion of DWI
  • Showing insufficient evidence in the state’s case
  • Motion to exclude defendant’s alleged confession
  • Motion to suppress evidence
  • Motion to exclude testimony

In cases where the prosecution has sufficient evidence and will not negotiate a DWI charge down, your Dallas DWI defense attorney can attempt to bargain in other ways, such as the exclusion of specific DWI penalties, or petitioning for your DWI to be handled in Dallas County Misdemeanor DWI Court or Felony DWI court.

Dallas County DWI Court is not a pretrial diversion program. Rather, it is essentially a guilty plea bargain agreement with better terms such as probation, suspended jail time, waived court fines and community service, reduced probation fees, and a waived occupational driver’s license fee (for ODL-eligible applicants) in exchange for mandatory drug and alcohol education and treatment. Whatever the circumstances and eligibility of your case for reduction or special courts, you should always consult with a qualified DWI attorney before making a drastic decision like a guilty plea.

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Pretrial Diversion Programs for Reduced DFW DWI Charges

As stated before, there are many pretrial diversion programs in Dallas County and the surrounding counties, just none that allow DWI charges. However, it is important to note that there is no lesser included offense for DWI in Texas, and a “reduction” of charges from DWI to another offense like reckless driving or obstruction of a highway is actually when the prosecution withdraws the DWI charge and replaces it with the new charge.

With proper pretrial intervention by your DWI defense attorney with the prosecution, you may qualify for the following or other pretrial diversion methods and programs with your new charge:

  • Memo Agreement
    • For first-time offenders
    • Contract with the District Attorney
    • Complete tasks like education courses and community service
    • Payment of a fee to D.A. and Dallas County Adult Probation Department
    • Successful completion means dismissal and eligibility for subsequent expungement
  • Deferred Disposition
    • Informal probation for Class C misdemeanors
    • Must not commit any offenses within the specific time period
    • Requires payment of fines and court costs
    • Requires completion of courses related to offense and community service
    • Successful completion means dismissal and eligibility for subsequent expungement
  • Deferred Adjudication
    • Type of probation for Class A and Class B misdemeanors and certain felonies
    • Initial plea of guilty or no contest, but plea is deferred
    • Requires completion of specific conditions and programs within a certain timeframe
    • Monthly reporting to a probation officer
    • The record will show deferred adjudication instead of conviction
    • May qualify for the motion of nondisclosure
  • Collin County Pretrial Diversion Program
    • Usually for first-time offenders
    • Guilty plea withheld unless terms violated
    • Period of supervision by the Collin County Community Supervision Department
    • Case-specific terms can include restitution, community service, criminal activity abstinence, and special classes or programs
    • Motion to Dismiss upon completion
    • Dismissal usually means eligibility for subsequent expungement
  • Dallas County DIVERT Drug Court
    • Alleged felony drug offenders – you may be eligible if your drugged DWI charge is replaced with possession of a controlled substance at less than one gram, marijuana possession of 4 ounces to 5 pounds, or obtaining a controlled substance by fraud (prescription fraud, doctor shopping)
    • 12-18 months of substance abuse education and treatment and participation in employment and education services
    • Case dismissal upon graduation
    • Dismissal usually means eligibility for subsequent expungement

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Find a Pretrial Diversion Attorney for Dallas County DWI | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy

If you are facing a DWI charge in the DFW metroplex, including Dallas, Fort Worth, Garland, Decatur, Terrell, Weatherford, Sherman, Rockwall, Burleson, Waxahachie, Irving, Addison, Richardson, Mesquite, Allen, Denton, and Arlington, contact the experienced DWI lawyers of Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy.

They will work closely with you to determine the most favorable outcome for your case, whether it’s a reduction of the DWI charge and subsequent pretrial diversion program for the new charge, or fighting towards a not guilty plea at trial. Your first consultation is free, so call (972) 233-5700 today to schedule yours.

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