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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 254-501-4040 today.