Felony pretrial diversion will be used sparingly in Travis County for a group of offenders that meet certain eligibility criteria. Through this program an offender is given a chance to avoid prosecution for an offense through successful completion of a period during which there are no new arrests, and all requirements of the term are completed. Requirements may include attending counseling, making restitution, performing community service restitution and any other condition deemed appropriate by the Travis County District Attorney's Office.
Admission into the program rests in the sole control of the Travis County District Attorney's Office. Once the term is successfully completed, the offender may apply for an expunction of the arrest record and the Travis County District Attorney's Office will not contest the expunction. However, the Travis County District Attorney's Office cannot bind the Texas Department of Public Safety to this agreement.
The Travis County District Attorney’s Office will only consider an application by an offender charged with a Third Degree or State Jail Felony non-violent offense. The applicant should be a first time offender. However, the committee will consider the history of applicants who have minimal, non-violent, juvenile or misdemeanor criminal histories for acceptance into the program. The applicant cannot have substance abuse issues or other conditions that should be monitored in a formal probation environment or Travis County Drug Court.
- Criminal Mischief
- Theft of Service
- Credit/Debit Card Abuse
- False Statement to Obtain Property
- Hindering Secured creditors
- Securing Execution of Document by Deception
- Fraudulent Use/Possession of Identifying Information
- Gift to Public Servant
- Tampering with or Fabricating Evidence
- Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution
An offender that believes they meet the eligibility criteria must request the case be screened for acceptance by the Chief of the Court where the cause is pending or by the Chief of Intake if the cause is unindicted.
If the criteria are met the case will be referred to the screening committee to consider the offender for admission into the program. If the offense charged is a drug offense, or if the screening attorney deems it appropriate, the offender will be required to submit to an evaluation by Court Administration prior to applying for the program. A 10-panel UA is also required for drug cases and can be performed at any accredited lab.
An offender that meets the eligibility criteria must submit a sworn written application for pretrial diversion. If applicable, the drug evaluation must accompany the application. The applicant may also submit a resume, school transcripts, work history, character letters, and any other relevant information. The screening committee may require a personal interview of the applicant. The screening committee will review the application and decide whether to allow the offender into the Travis County District Attorney's Pretrial Diversion Program.
If the offender is accepted into the program, the offender will enter into a written agreement setting out the terms and conditions of the program. The offender must also sign a plea form pleading guilty to the offense and waiving certain constitutional and statutory rights. The terms and conditions will include a specific term of supervision, an agreement to plead guilty at a revocation proceeding, an agreement not to receive credit for fees or community service performed while in the diversion program if revoked and other conditions as recommended by the Travis County District Attorneys Office.
Once an offender has been accepted into the Travis County Pretrial Diversion Program, the case will be transferred to either the 147th or 427th Judicial District Court of Travis County, Texas for supervision. The offender’s attorney must work with the appropriate court coordinator to obtain a case transfer order and obtain a setting. Once transferred, the case will remain permanently in the respective District Court regardless of whether the offender successfully completes the program or is ultimately prosecuted.
The offender will be expected to pay a $60 monthly supervision fee. Indigent offenders, as determined by the judge, will pay on a sliding scale. The offender will also be required to pay for any drug and alcohol counselling, anger management classes, required urinalysis or other programs detailed in the agreement or ordered by the Court.
Restitution and fees will be paid through the Travis County Adult Probation Department. The 147th and 427th District Court Probation Officers will monitor the assigned offenders and verify the requirements of the program are met. He or she may investigate any potential violations and they may perform a random urinalysis on the offender when requested by the Judge or the Travis County District Attorney’s Office.
The maximum term of pretrial diversion is two years.
The offender will be expected to comply with the terms and conditions of the pretrial diversion program and timely meet all required obligations. If the offender fails to do so, his pretrial diversion program participation may be revoked. The decision to revoke the offender’s participation in the Travis County Felony Pretrial Diversion Program rests solely with the Office of the Travis County District Attorney’s Office. If the decision to revoke is made, the case will remain docketed on the 147th or 427th regular docket for a plea to the offense charged and the case will proceed as if the offender was never in the pretrial diversion program.
Thank you very much and please feel free to call if you have any questions/concerns.