If you have been charged with a crime in Tarrant County, you might have an opportunity at a second chance through one of several diversion programs. The Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office has created a program for first time offenders called The Deferred Prosecution Program, or “DPP.” If you meet the requirements and are admitted into the program, you have the opportunity to have your case dismissed and have it expunged immediately upon dismissal. This is a huge benefit, because in most cases, an individual whose case is dismissed would have to wait until the statute of limitations expires for an expunction. Because DPP is a pretrial intervention program authorized by section 76.011 of the Texas Government Code, cases dismissed upon completion of the program are eligible for immediate expunction. Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Art. 55.01.
Who is qualified for DPP? You qualify for DPP, if you meet the following requirements:
Also, keep in mind that you will be disqualified if your case is related to gang activity, or you have multiple pending cases not arising from the same incident or if you are charged with a case while on bond.
Additionally, there is a strict deadline for application submission. Your attorney must submit your application, along with all application materials, within 90 days of your case being filed. Because of this deadline, it is extremely important that you consult with an attorney as soon as possible following arrest.
If after consulting with an attorney you determine you qualify for DPP, and you decide to apply, you will need to prepare and submit application materials on time. The application materials include the DPP questionnaire, including a personal statement, two recommendation letters, and academic transcripts, diploma, or GED certificate. Note that the letters must be from adults who are not relatives or co-defendants, who have known you for at least 3 years, and they must state the nature of the pending case or cases. Also, be prepared to pay a program fee, which ranges from $125-225, depending on your charge. If you are admitted, you will participate in the program for 4 months for misdemeanors and 8 months for felonies. Upon completion, the case is dismissed and you can immediately apply for an expunction.
If you are charged with either a misdemeanor or felony in Tarrant County, contact The Hardy Law Group immediately to schedule a consultation. Because of the 90 day deadline to apply, it is extremely important to consult with a qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney soon after your arrest to determine whether you qualify.