Tarrant County has three different programs specifically designed for youthful offenders facing criminal charges.
Deferred Prosecution Program (DPP):
DPP is a true diversion program. It is limited to defendants who at the time of the offense are between 17 and 24 years old. Applicants must have no prior criminal history, other than Class C misdemeanors. This program was created to give youthful first offenders a chance at rehabilitation. It also allows for a complete dismissal of the charges and the ability to have the charges expunged. There are numerous cases that qualify for DPP, including misdemeanor and felony offenses. The program lasts four months for misdemeanor offenses and eight months for felony offenses. There is a strict deadline to apply for this program, so it is important to contact McLaughlin Law right away. Click here to learn even more about the program.
Youthful Offender Diversion Program (YODA):
YODA is a Diversion Program for young defendants charged with family violence assaults. It is meant for first time offenders between the ages of 17 and 25. This program gives defendants an opportunity to stabilize their lives and gain access to resources that can encourage further development. Applicants must be charged with assault against a non-intimate family member (defined as blood relative, related by marriage or intimate relationship with another family member). Click here to learn even more about the program.
Other Behavioral Intervention with Assault Non-family Program (OBI WAN):
This program is an off-shoot of the YODA program for defendants with simple assault cases involving persons who are not family members (defined as blood relative, related by marriage or intimate relationship with another family member). It is meant for first time offenders between the ages of 17 and 25. A successful candidate must be actively attending school full-time and/or employed. Colin is an experienced defense attorney to help youthful offenders take advantage of these opportunities. Click here to go to Tarrant County's official page on OBI WAN.
Tarrant County also has three programs specifically designed for drug and alcohol-related offenses.
First Offender Drug Program (FODP):
FODP is a limited-supervision program that targets the “self-correctors.” It looks to divert the low risk/low needs first-time drug offenders to a court-supervised program. Successful applicants must not have any prior criminal history, other than Class C misdemeanors. The misdemeanor-level program costs $350 and lasts 90 days. The felony-level program costs $550 and lasts 180 days. The program cost covers urinalysis testing and hair follicle tests. Not all drug offenses qualify for FODP. There is a strict application deadline, so it is important to contact McLaughlin Law right away. Successful completion of the program will result in the dismissal of the charges. Click here to go to Tarrant County's official page on FODP.
Felony Alcohol Intervention Program (FAIP):
FAIP is technically not a diversion program, but a post-plea program for felony DWI. It is designed to coordinate alcohol abuse intervention with judicial oversight, enhanced supervision, and individual accountability. This program is only available to those charged with a felony DWI. Those who plead guilty into FAIP receive a 7-year sentence probated for 4 years. This is much shorter than normal felony DWI probations that the State offers through a regular court. Click here to go to Tarrant County's official page on FAIP.
Drug Impact Rehabilitation Enhanced Comprehensive Treatment Court Program (DIRECT):
DIRECT is also a post-plea program for felonies. The program offers intensive drug treatment and intensive supervision through the courts and probation department. Urinalysis drug testing and hair follicle testing are conducted at regular intervals, and sanctions are imposed for violations of program guidelines and conditions of supervision. Click here to go to Tarrant County's official page on DIRECT.
Mental Health Diversion Program:
The Mental Health Court is a true diversion program – a chance for a complete dismissal of the charges. This program seeks to divert mentally impaired offenders from the criminal justice system and help those offenders achieve stability and reduce recidivism. To be eligible, offenders must have documented significant mental impairment. Not all criminal offenses are eligible for this program. Typically, misdemeanors and low-level, non-violent felonies are considered. Violent offenses, especially if a weapon is involved, are not accepted. This program lasts between 12 months and 2 years. Click here to go to Tarrant County's official page on this program.
Veterans Court Diversion Program (Veterans Court):
The Veterans Court Diversion Program also allows for a complete dismissal of the charges. It offers offenders successful treatment options with the hopes of allowing these veterans a chance to reintegrate into the community. This program is open to veterans and active military personnel. The Veterans Court Diversion Program generally requires candidates to have a clinical diagnosis of a brain injury, mental illness, or mental disorder. This program usually lasts between six months and two years. This, like most of the diversion programs, relies heavily on grants and state funding. The more money the program receives, the broader the program's eligibility requirements become. Other counties are implementing very similar programs. Click here to go to Tarrant County's official page on this program.
Reaching Independence through Self-Empowerment (RISE):
The RISE program is designed to help women who have extensive histories of prostitution or prostitution-related offenses. It works in helping these vulnerable women achieve: abstinence from controlled substances, mental stability, permanent housing, and education/work opportunities. The program length varies depending on the needs of the individual. Click here to go to Tarrant County's official page on this program.