First Time Offenders
Are there any special Travis County First Time Offender Programs?
Travis County has a handful of programs that are designed for people who have never been in trouble before. However, being a first time offender does not guarantee admission into a program.
What are the programs?
Both the County Attorney (misdemeanor) and District Attorney (felony) have Pre-Trial Diversion programs. Successful completion of these programs result in a dismissal of your case. However, admission to the programs is up to the prosecutors. Being a "first time offender" certainly helps, but the prosecutors still evaluate the charge on a "case by case" basis.
Does being a first time offender help?
Yes! Every prosecutor will look at your criminal history (or lack of it) before making a plea bargain recommendation on a case - which could be a dismissal, probation, conviction, etc. Having no criminal history ALWAYS improves the outcome. It does not guarantee it will be a dismissal, though.
Is a Class C traffic ticket considered "criminal history"?
No, traffic tickets (speeding, etc.) will not be held against you. However, prior "public intoxications", "possession of drug paraphernalia" and other types of Class C tickets could be.
I'm a first time offender but the prosecutors are still insisting on a conviction.
That is sometimes the case. It may feel like being a first time offender doesn't count for much. However, I promise you if you had a lot of prior arrests, the plea bargain would be worse.
What other types of programs exist in Travis County?
Project Engage (for youthful offenders)
Family Violence Intervention Program (for Assault FV cases)
DWI court (for people with multiple DWIs)
DWI Pre-Trial Diversion (for first time offender DWI charges)
Veterans Court (for veterans)
Pre-Trial Diversion (both misdemeanor and felony)
Here is a link to more Travis County programs.
Do I need to apply for these programs myself?
No, your attorney will let you know if you qualify for any programs. There will be an application that you need to fill out for the programs.
I still have more questions.
No problem. Give us a call: 512-472-1113