The Grand Jury/Intake Division is ground zero for all cases that are referred to the Travis County District Attorney’s Office by law enforcement agencies. A grand jury is an independent body of 12 qualified citizens who are residents of Travis County. At any given time, Travis County has three grand juries who have been selected, empaneled and sworn in by one of our 8 District Court judges who hear criminal cases. Each grand jury sits for a term of typically three months, meeting at least twice a week.

A grand jury is tasked with determining whether there is sufficient probable cause to return an indictment, which is the formal written statement of a grand jury accusing a person of a criminal offense. {Tex. Code of Criminal Procedure, Art. 21.01.} Grand jury service is one of the most important ways a citizen can participate in the criminal justice system. Every felony offense must be presented to a grand jury before the case can be prosecuted unless the defendant waives the formal grand jury process.

Also housed under the Grand Jury/Intake Division is the Major Crimes Investigations section. Experienced prosecutors are on call 24/7 to respond and assist law enforcement in the investigation of homicides, multi-victim incidents where an individual has sustained serious bodily injury, or a case involving a public official. The role of the prosecutor in these investigations is to provide legal support around the clock to law enforcement agencies.

Diversion Programs and Specialty Dockets

Multiple diversionary programs are used to divert defendants, in appropriate cases, from a traditional prosecution track in hopes of reducing recidivism by addressing issues that may be driving their criminal conduct in a more individualized manner. Our office has expanded its use of diversion programs in recent years and fully supports resolving non-violent offenses in non-traditional ways, including avoiding felony convictions whenever possible. We are cognizant of the problems associated with mass incarceration and the impact it often has on underprivileged and minority communities. Our diversion programs focus more on factors such as addiction, the potential for rehabilitation, and the age and background of the defendant rather than looking solely at the offense committed and the criminal history of an individual.

See below for more information on the diversion and specialty court programs this Office support.

The Travis County Drug Diversion Court is a drug intervention program. The program is designed to provide an early opportunity for changing negative behaviors through court monitoring, urinalysis, case management, community outreach, and substance abuse education and treatment referrals.

The program consists of a four phase treatment module along with after-care to address addiction issues for defendants charged with possession of a controlled substance. The Travis County Drug Court is set up to be consistent with national drug court models.

For more information, email [email protected].

Our Felony Pretrial Diversion program is available for first time felony offenders charged with low level offenses. During the diversionary period, the offender is required to successfully complete various requirements such as: counseling, paying restitution, performing community service hours, and any other condition deemed appropriate by the program administrators.

Once all conditions are successfully met, the pending criminal charge will be dismissed and the individual may apply for an expunction of the charge from his or her record without objection from the State.

Learn more about the Pretrial Diversion eligibility and application procedure.

The TCDA Mental Health Docket aims to address the mental health needs that may be contributing to an individual’s criminal behavior in an attempt to divert these defendants from the criminal justice system, when appropriate.  The assigned ADA works with jail staff, judges, defense attorneys, and mental health professionals and service providers to collaboratively craft case resolutions that attempt to fit the specific needs of each defendant who is placed on the specialty docket. Defendants are offered mental health services and report back to court on a regular basis for follow up care and further evaluation. The treatment plan for each defendant is discussed at each docket setting in a collaborative format to make sure the individual is receiving the necessary services and is actively engaged with mental health providers.

The Assistant District Attorney assigned to the Mental Health Docket also handles forensic mental health commitments, as these cases require specialized knowledge of both the applicable statutes and the changing landscape of the state hospital system.

For more information, email [email protected].

A specialized court designed to meet the needs of the veteran community. Participating veterans suffer from a traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, or other mental disorder, including victims of military sexual trauma, which occurred during, or resulted from, the defendant’s military service and affected the defendant’s criminal conduct at issue in the case. Veterans benefit from the camaraderie of participating in this program with fellow veterans and become a source of support for one another as they complete the requirements of the program. Upon graduation from the program, the underlying felony case is dismissed and the individual is able to apply for an expunction of the charge from his or her record.

For more information, email Jolene Grajczyk.

A newly developed program for young offenders (ages 17-25) who benefit from a structured therapeutic course with a focus on altering criminal behavior. This program consists of 12 months of intensive case management, cognitive behavioral therapy and job skills training. The program is intentionally kept to a small number of participants to better provide individualized counseling and case management.

Once all conditions are successfully met, the criminal charge will be dismissed and the offender may apply for an expunction of the charge from his or her record.

Learn more about the Youthful Offender Pretrial Diversion eligibility and application procedure.

The Travis County Felony DWI Court is an alcohol intervention program designed to provide an opportunity for changing negative behaviors through court monitoring, urinalysis, case management, community outreach, and alcohol abuse education and treatment referrals.

Defendants who have only two previous misdemeanor convictions for DWI, and no other felony convictions, are eligible for this program.

Upon successful completion of the program, the felony DWI will be reduced to a Class A misdemeanor, and the defendant will be placed on a period of probation where the defendant can continue a course of treatment and aftercare with supervision.

Learn more about the DWI court.

To address the heavy volume of low level drug offenses filed in Travis County, the District Attorney's Office created the State Jail Court in 2018. The State Jail Court removes state jail felony drug cases from the regular district court caseloads to allow district court prosecutors to focus more attention on serious violent offenses. In addition to removing hundreds of drug cases from the district court dockets, another goal of the State Jail Court has been to offer treatment options in lieu of incarceration to offenders in spite of a lengthy criminal history. Prior to the implementation of the State Jail Court, defendants frequently pled guilty to a felony offense in exchange for a short jail sentence to be served in the county facility as opposed to the state jail facility. Community supervision was rarely offered on these cases due to defendants having a long history of felony drug convictions. The State Jail Court emphasizes treatment options in almost every case, regardless of criminal history, and attempts to resolve these cases with misdemeanor dispositions and diversion programs instead of prison sentences and felony convictions.

For more information, email [email protected].