The State’s conviction rate is high and getting beyond a drug case is difficult but, rest assured, there are several paths to a dismissal. The information provided here is to help you understand a little about the system. There is no substitute for good advice from a qualified attorney based on the facts of your case.
We have helped hundreds of clients achieve dismissals utilizing each of the following paths. There is no one program that is right for everyone but finding a good fit for you will ensure the maximum chance at your future success. While not every case can be dismissed, we have an extraordinary dismissal rate.
First and foremost, Drug Court is intensive and difficult, but it can be very rewarding. Drug Court is a non-traditional court designed for those who have been battling the cycle of addictive and criminal behavior. Participation in drug court requires a review of your criminal history to first determine your “legal eligibility” and then followed by a complete assessment to determine “clinical appropriateness.” The program DOES NOT require you to hire an attorney. However, if you are deemed ineligible, an attorney may be able to intervene on your behalf to affect your acceptance in the program.
Drug Court requires court appearances ranging from weekly, bi-weekly, to monthly, based on the phase of the program. In addition to court appearances, a defendant is required to participate in assessments, treatment (inpatient and/or outpatient), counseling, group meetings, treatment interventions, other programs, and undergo urinalysis as dictated by each phase of the program. It is designed to be a 12 month program however the majority of participants experience delays due to phase backs (repeating phases). The Drug Court program fee is currently $1000 but the overall spend for the program can cost significantly more.
Drug Court is best suited for recovering addicts who can devote a significant amount of time and resources to the program and their sobriety. We often suggest other paths to dismissal but, for those who have successfully completed it, the program has had a lasting impact.
Pretrial Diversion Program
The PTD program is reserved for a small group of defendants who meet certain eligibility criteria. Once we identify a client who may be suited for the program, they submit to a eligibility assessment performed by the Travis County District Attorney’s Office. Eligibility requirements include mostly first-time offenders, most non-violent felony offenses, the facts/circumstances surrounding the arrest, ability to remain drug/alcohol free, and history of substance of abuse. If accepted a defendant can expect to participate or perform community service hours, drug/alcohol counseling, restitution, urinalysis, or other programs as dictated by the program agreement. The PTD program typically lasts one year and the defendant is expected to pay the program fee, a $60 monthly supervision fee and counseling fees.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of the program is after completion the DA’s office will not object to a request for early expunction. This means that a defendant can seek immediate expunction of the offense from their record. We are proud to have successfully admitted and completed dozens of clients in the Pretrial Diversion Program.
The vast majority of the dismissals we achieve for our clients are through negotiated agreements. While the programs mentioned above are right for some defendants, we work diligently to avoid the expense and resource investment of Drug Court and PTD when possible. Whether we are developing arguments based on case facts, lack of evidence, other merits of the case, or advocating based on your “life facts” and circumstances, a negotiated dismissal can include everything ranging from no stipulations to completion of community service, counseling, etc.
Negotiated dismissals put you in the driver’s seat and in control of your destiny. A negotiated dismissal allows you to avoid the risk and expense of trial. There is no one single strategy we use to negotiate a dismissal. It is truly a unique roadmap dependent upon the facts of your case and elements of your life.
Should you wish to explore the options for the resolution of your case, please contact us. We will obtain a copy of the officer’s report and review your recollection of the events. We cannot promise a walk in the park, but if your case can be dismissed, we will find a way.
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