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Texas Diversion Programs Can Benefit Certain Criminal Defendants

Texas Diversion Programs Can Benefit Certain Criminal Defendants

Criminal offenders in Texas – and across the nation – are often released from prison only to return within several years. This fact indicates that traditional sentencing is inadequate when it comes to preventing recidivism. Once someone is convicted of a crime, it is far more difficult for him or her to obtain a job that provides an adequate living or getting a college education that much more difficult. This leaves Texas communities more vulnerable to future crimes and places a nearly insurmountable burden on our criminal justice system.

Fortunately, diversionary programs can allow some defendants to avoid a conviction – provided that they successfully complete the conditions of their program.

Benefits for Offenders

Diversionary programs are intended to help rehabilitate first-time criminal offenders and to address any underlying mental, emotional, or circumstantial issues that may have precipitated the offense – whether it be criminal activity or charges related to drugs or substance abuse. Some of the benefits for offenders are obvious, but others are more nuanced. These benefits include:

  • Avoiding criminal conviction, which obviously tops the list

  • Making meaningful amends to those harmed by the offense, which can be powerfully informative and moving

  • Receiving mental health screenings in an effort to constructively address any underlying issues that may have contributed to the crime in the first place

  • Receiving screenings, treatment, and therapy for substance abuse that may have contributed to the crime in the first place

  • Having the opportunity to expunge one’s record upon program completion

Benefits for the Community

Diversion programs can also greatly benefit the communities that implement them. These benefits include:

  • Receiving the community services provided by participants in the diversion programs

  • Experiencing decreased crime rates – diversion programs are highly effective at decreasing recidivism

  • Expending fewer costs related to sentencing first-time offenders, which decreases the taxpayers’ burden

Getting into a Diversionary Program is Up to the Discretion of the Court

If you are facing criminal charges and think you may be eligible to participate in a diversionary program, it’s vital to understand that it’s up to the court whether you can or not. For this reason, it’s critical to retain an attorney to represent you – even if you are certain that you meet the eligibility requirements. A lawyer can help ensure that you are able to get into the diversionary program available to you so that you can avoid a criminal conviction on your record.

If You Are Facing Criminal Charges, call a Killeen Criminal Defense Attorney Today

First-time offenders are sometimes eligible for diversion programs, and attorney Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, is a skilled criminal defense lawyer who knows how to get his clients the most favorable result possible. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact or call us at (254) 220-4225 today.
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