Pretrial Diversion Program for DWIs
Houston DWI Program
Like other types of misdemeanor offenses, some counties like the Harris County District Attorney’s office offers first-time drunk driving offenders the possibility of avoiding severe DWI penalties by taking part in a Pretrial Diversion Program. Depending on the circumstances of your arrest, entering the Pretrial Diversion program may or may not be in your best interest. The benefit of a Pretrial Diversion Program is that if an accused completes the conditions of the program, he will be able to have his case dismissed after a year. The burdens are not so obvious.
Come to Chernoff Law for a confidential consultation with a Board Certified DWI attorney to discuss the situation and determine the best strategy for defending your rights. Ed Chernoff is a former Harris County Chief Prosecutor in County Court, and has over 25 years of combined criminal law experience. He can explain the Pretrial Diversion and discuss whether it is right for you.
A pretrial diversion consists of signing a contract with the District Attorney, under which you will be required to perform every step of the program in exchange for having the charges against you dropped. Not everyone is eligible for the program, as it is reserved for first-time DWI offenders who have no prior criminal arrests. The program includes several aspects, including:
- Classes intended to prevent future drinking and driving
- Installation of an ignition interlock device
- Attendance at mandatory alcohol treatment
- Community service
- Report to a probation officer
In the event that the D.A. has probable cause to believe that you have violated the terms of the agreement in any way, you may be convicted of DWI and subjected to a full sentence.
Should I agree to pretrial diversion?
Sometimes a pretrial diversion is in your best interest. However, even when there is positive evidence of your guilt, such as a failed breath test or blood test, an attorney from our firm may still be able to secure an exoneration or dismissal of the charges in your case. Therefore, we do not advise that you accept pretrial diversion without examining your options. Under the contract for pretrial diversion, your arrest will still be on your criminal record during the entire year you are going through the program. Expunction is not guaranteed until years after the completion of the program. Let us review your case and help you decide on how to proceed.