If you face certain criminal charges in Texas, you may qualify for pretrial diversion. This may sound a little intimidating, but it can actually be a very good thing for you. Understanding what it is and how it works is important if you ever get the option of this in your criminal case.
To begin with, the United States Department of Justice explains that pretrial diversion is a special type of prosecution that seeks to avoid traditional punishment and instead offers programs and alternatives under the probation department. The prosecutor will usually put this offer on the table before you go before the court to face charges. Here are a couple of other points about this process of which to be aware.
- It serves several purposes
The goal of pretrial diversion is to help you avoid a future path of criminal activity by providing you with guidance and assistance. It also serves to reduce the resources needed in a traditional criminal case, such as the time spent by the judge and prosecution, along with the money spent for incarceration and prosecution. Furthermore, it gives you a chance to learn from your mistakes and to go on to become a more productive member of society.
- The court rewards completion
Perhaps the best detail about pretrial diversion is that if you complete the assigned program and comply with all the requirements, you can avoid a formal criminal charge. It will be as if you never faced prosecution for the crime. This means no criminal record to follow you for the rest of your life.
However, there is a downside. If you fail to complete the program and requirements, your case will go back to the court. You will face the judge and end up with formal charges on your record and possibly a conviction.
Pretrial diversion works well in many cases. It allows you to correct whatever happened in your life to lead to this point. It enables you to avoid a life labeled as a criminal.